The Appeals Council is the last level of administrative appeal after an unfavorable decision from an Administrative Law Judge (“ALJ”). Sometimes, for whatever reason, the evidence just did not make it to the ALJ at the hearing in your claim. It is still possible to submit new evidence to the Appeals Council. However, the following conditions must be satisfied in order to be permitted to do so:
- the evidence must be “new” and “material” to your condition and the relevant time period; and
- you must present “good cause” for not submitting it earlier to the ALJ.
The Social Security Administration and Federal Courts have defined each of these terms over time. You should consider contacting an experienced disability attorney to assist you in determining whether you satisfy the proper requirements to submit the additional evidence to the Appeals Council.