Appeals Council correcting technical errors

I was a the Colorado Bar Association Social Security CLE (Continuing Legal Education) program. One of the Judges stated during the presentation that the Social Security Appeals Council will begin correcting “technical errors.”

During the Q&A section, I had to ask whether this meant that the Appeals Council would begin approving more cases outright or if this would result in, effectively, “post hoc” fixing of Administrative Law Judges’ decisions.

The response was that this would not likely increase the number of approvals at the Appeals Council level and, again, this was designed to fix technical errors.

This is disconcerting as some of these “technical errors” might well result in sending cases back for another hearing. If the Appeals Council gets to correct errors that would otherwise lead to a second hearing, but now lead to affirming a denial, that just leaves claimant’s out in the cold.