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Subsequent Events Related to Denied Claimants

April 29, 2016

Office Affiliation: The Office of Audit

Audit Report Number: A-12-15-15020

Claimants who are denied disability benefits at the State disability determination services (DDS) can appeal the decision to a Social Security Administration (SSA) administrative law judge (ALJ).

A claimant who disagrees with an ALJ’s decision may request a review by SSA’s Appeals Council (AC). The AC may deny, dismiss, or grant the request. If the AC grants the request, it will either (1) issue a decision that affirms, modifies, or reverses the ALJ decision or (2) remand the case to the ALJ with instructions for further review. A claimant who disagrees with the AC decision may file an appeal with a Federal district court. The court may (1) dismiss the case; (2) affirm, modify, or reverse the AC’s decision; or (3) remand the case for further review.

In addition, after an ALJ denies a case, the claimant may reapply for benefits, return to work, or another action could occur, including but not limited to, death, imprisonment, homelessness, and/or benefit attainment from another private source/government agency.

Given the variety of possible outcomes, we performed this review to assess claimants’ status several years after SSA denied their disability applications.

Read the full report

Read the summary report

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