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Many Social Security Disability claims are turned down. After your claim has been denied twice, you are entitled to a hearing before an Administrative Law Judge (ALJ). If the Administrative Law Judge does not approve your claim, the case is reviewed by the Appeals Council, who may overturn the ALJ’s decision; may remand it; or may allow it to stand. A remand is a decision by a higher court or authority to send the decision back to the original decision maker for reconsideration.
In the case of Social Security Disability hearings, remanded cases are sent back to the Administrative Law Judge for another hearing. In most cases, the remand will send the case back to the same Administrative Law Judge who conducted the hearing in the first place unless the case has been remanded multiple times. The remand will include specific instructions regarding how the ALJ is to handle the Social Security Disability hearing, but does not dictate what his decision should be.
Most remanded cases are sent back to the ALJ because the evidence does not match up with his finding on the case or because of procedural problems that the Appeals Council wants the Administrative Law Judge to address. While there is no guarantee that remanded cases will produce an accepted Social Security Disability claim, the remand does allow you another opportunity to make the case that you should be considered disabled according to the SSA’s standards.
If you are not already working with a Social Security Disability lawyer, you should consider contacting one to handle remanded cases. A qualified lawyer will be able to look at your claim and the remand, figuring out the best way for you to get your benefits.
If your case is denied by the Appeals Council, a Federal Court may also remand the case, sending it back to the Appeals Council with guidelines regarding how the case is to be handled. Remanded cases may be remanded as many times as necessary until the Appeals Council or Federal Court determines that proper procedures for Social Security Disability claims have been followed.
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