When a United States Court of Appeals issues a decision pertaining to a Social Security
Administration (SSA) claim that is in conflict with established SSA policy, we often
“acquiesce.” This means that SSA applies the circuit court law, but only for cases
within the applicable Federal circuit.
SSA publishes Social Security ARs to describe the subject case and explain how SSA
applies the decision within the circuit.
Some Social Security ARs apply to cases within the appropriate circuit at all administrative
levels of adjudication, while others may be limited in application to the Administrative
Law Judge (ALJ) hearing and the Appeals Council (AC) levels of adjudication. Each
AR clearly states the adjudicative levels to which it applies.