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What is the appeals council in a Social Security disability case?

The Appeals Council is vested with the jurisdiction of handling the appeals from a Social Security disability case that's been determined as unfavorable by a Social Security disability administrative law judge. However, for the past 12 years or so, the Appeals Council also reviews the favorable decisions that come from judges to make sure the judges have adequately weighed the case and essentially aren't awarding benefits to people that don't deserve them.