§ 404.1790. Appeals Council's decision.

(a) The Appeals Council shall base its decision upon the evidence in the hearing record and any other evidence it may permit on review. The Appeals Council shall either—

(1) Affirm, reverse, or modify the hearing officer's decision; or

(2) Return a case to the hearing officer when the Appeals Council considers it appropriate.

(b) The Appeals Council, in changing a hearing officer's decision to suspend a representative for a specified period, shall in no event reduce the period of suspension to less than 1 year. In modifying a hearing officer's decision to disqualify a representative, the Appeals Council shall in no event impose a period of suspension of less than 1 year. Further, the Appeals Council shall in no event impose a suspension when disqualification is the sole sanction available in accordance with § 404.1770(a)(3)(ii).

(c) If the Appeals Council affirms or changes a hearing officer's decision, the period of suspension or the disqualification is effective from the date of the Appeals Council's decision.

(d) If the hearing officer did not impose a period of suspension or a disqualification, and the Appeals Council decides to impose one or the other, the suspension or disqualification is effective from the date of the Appeals Council's decision.

(e) The Appeals Council shall make its decision in writing and shall mail a copy of the decision to the parties at their last known addresses.

[45 FR 52090, Aug. 5, 1980, as amended at 56 FR 24132, May 29, 1991; 71 FR 2877, Jan. 18, 2006]