Claimant has lost at the ALJ hearing. Filing an appeal of the ALJ decision is an option if an error of law or fact was made by the Judge. See a discussion oftop 10 issues for appealing an ALJ decision here. Perhaps most common is that the ALJ did not give the treating physician the sufficient weight that his/her opinion should have been given. If the Appeals Council agrees with the reasons your lawyer set forth on appeal, the remedy is much likelier to be that the case is remanded (sent back) to the very same Judge who denied the case which statistically usually results in the same result, however we have seen exceptions. Subsequent filing (post-ALJ decision) of a new claim is another option provided that there is no DLI (date of last insured) problem and that the subsequent filing sets forth either a new condition(s) or "new and material" evidence not previously considered.