A claimant who disagrees with an administrative law judges (ALJ) decision may ask for a review by the Office of Disability Adjudication and Review’s (ODAR) 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 to conduct further proceedings on the case.
ALJ decisions on cases can vary widely. In our February 2012 congressional review, Oversight of Administrative Law Judge Workload Trends, we noted that ALJ allowance rates in FY 2010 varied from 9 to 99 percent. We focused on 12 high- and 12 low-allowance ALJs. The allowance rates for these 12 low-allowance ALJs ranged from 9 to 25 percent.
The objective of this report was to analyze subsequent appellate actions on Fiscal Year (FY) 2010 denials issued by 12 low-allowance ALJs.