The Social Security Administration's Appeals Council performs the fourth and final administrative evaluation of appealed disability claims. Very little information about the Appeals Council has been available to claimants and their representatives, even though claimants must request Appeals Council review before filing an appeal in federal court. In response to criticism and controversy surrounding this obscure branch of the Social Security Administration, the administrative Conference of the United States (ACUS) asked Professors Koch and Koplow to study the Appeals Council's effectiveness in disability claims and adjudication. In this Article, the authors examine Appeals Council operations and the Council's relationship to the administrative and judicial disability claims procedure and make recommendations for streamlining and improving the claims process. These recommendations, originally presented in a report to the ACUS, were evaluated and substantially adopted by ACUS and are presently being considered by the Social Security Administration.
Charles H. Koch, Jr. & David A. Koplow,
The Fourth Bite at the Apple: A Study of the Operation and Utility of the Social Security Administration's Appeals Council,
17 Fla. St. U. L. Rev.