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HALLEX I-3-700

Office of Hearings and Appeals

Social Security Administration (S.S.A.)

Department of Health and Human Services

Volume I

Division III: Appeals Court Review

Subject: Appeals Council Remands

Chapter: I-3-700

June 30, 1994

Current through June 1997

I-3-700 TABLE OF CONTENTS

> I-3-701 General

> I-3-710 Remand for Further Development

> I-3-711 Remand for Medical Evidence

> I-3-712 Remand for Medical Expert Testimony

> I-3-713 Remand for Vocational Evidence

> I-3-714 Remand for Other Reasons

> I-3-720 Remand after Appeals Council Vacates Dismissal of Request for Hearing

> I-3-730 Preparation of Analysis

> I-3-740 Preparation of Remand Order

> I-3-741 Administrative Appeals Judge's Action

> I-3-742 Release of Remand Order and File

> I-3-743 Release of Appeals File

> I-3-750 ALJ Requests Clarification of Remand Order

> I-3-755 Appeals Council Vacates Remand Order after Motion for Clarification


HALLEX I-3-701

Office of Hearings and Appeals

Social Security Administration (S.S.A.)

Department of Health and Human Services

Volume I

Division III: Appeals Court Review

Subject: Appeals Council Remands

Chapter: I-3-700

June 30, 1994

Current through June 1997

I-3-701 GENERAL (REVISED 10/91)

Citations: > 20 CFR 404.967, 404.970, 404.977, 404.1519f, 404.1519n, 410.662, 410.665, 416.919f, 416.919n, 416.1467, 416.1470, and 416.1477 > 42 CFR 405.724 and 498.88

When the Appeals Council grants a request for review or reviews a case on its own motion, it may issue a decision, dismiss the request for hearing or remand the case to an Administrative Law Judge (ALJ) for further proceedings. Refer to Chapter > I-3-300 for a discussion of when the Appeals Council will review a case.

Except for the two circumstances discussed below, the Appeals Council will vacate the ALJ's decision in its entirety when it remands a case. However, this in no way limits the authority or discretion of the Council to state in its remand order that it concurs with specific findings and conclusions, or agrees generally with portions of the decisional analysis. A remand order requires an ALJ to issue a new decision. In addition, the remand order may direct an ALJ to take further action(s), such as developing additional evidence or holding a supplemental hearing.

EXCEPTION: The Appeals Council will not vacate the entire ALJ decision in the following situations:

1. If the ALJ's decision is partially favorable and the Council agrees with the favorable conclusion on entitlement but not the entire decision, the Council will issue a combined Affirmation/Remand Order. If the favorable portion of the decision has not been effectuated, the analyst will send photocopies of the decision and exhibits, other than medical evidence and vocational reports, to the effectuating component for payment of benefits.

2. In concurrent claims under titles II and XVI, when the Council finds the decision pertaining to one title to be supported by substantial evidence but not the decision under the other title:

- In request for review cases, the Council will issue a separate notice denying the request for review under the appropriate title and an order remanding the claim under the other title to an ALJ.

- In own motion cases, the Council will issue a combined Affirmation/Remand Order.

The Appeals Council will remand a case to an ALJ if it finds significant evidentiary or procedural deficiencies. For example, the Appeals Council may remand a case because:

- the ALJ applied the wrong law;

- additional claimant or witness testimony is needed;

- the claimant did not receive a fair hearing;

- the ALJ issued the decision on the record but testimony is necessary;

- testimony of an expert witness is needed;

- additional development is needed--e.g., consultative examinations, hospital reports or evidence on work activity; or

- the ALJ's decisional rationale is insufficient.

However, if the Appeals Council can obtain the additional evidence expeditiously and without adversely affecting the claimant's rights, it may do so and issue a decision.



HALLEX I-3-710

Office of Hearings and Appeals

Social Security Administration (S.S.A.)

Department of Health and Human Services

Volume I

Division III: Appeals Court Review

Subject: Appeals Council Remands

Chapter: I-3-700

June 30, 1994

Current through June 1997

I-3-710 REMAND FOR FURTHER DEVELOPMENT

The Appeals Council will remand for further development when the evidence in file is insufficient to support a conclusion.

Examples:

1. There is a material conflict in the medical evidence which involves medical facts rather than the persuasiveness or weight of the evidence.

2. The record does not contain sufficient clinical findings, x-ray and/or laboratory tests, or other medical information such as diagnosis and prognosis, or an adequate medical assessment of ability to do work-related activities.



HALLEX I-3-711

Office of Hearings and Appeals

Social Security Administration (S.S.A.)

Department of Health and Human Services

Volume I

Division III: Appeals Court Review

Subject: Appeals Council Remands

Chapter: I-3-700

June 30, 1994

Current through June 1997

I-3-711 REMAND FOR MEDICAL EVIDENCE (REVISED 10/91)

A. Existing Evidence

The analyst should recommend a remand to obtain existing evidence such as hospital reports, treating source records, etc., when the file indicates that the ALJ did not obtain needed existing evidence. See Appeals Text Guide 6-20-20 to 6-20-23 and stored paragraph 25 from section 6-20-29.

Examples:

1. The ALJ did not obtain existing evidence to resolve a material conflict in the medical evidence.

2. The most recent evidence in file is not current (e.g., more than 12 months old at the time the decision was issued), there is an indication that additional evidence exists and the claimant has a progressive impairment that is likely to affect ability to function, or there is an indication of a worsening of the impairment during the period at issue that is likely to affect ability to function.

B. Consultative Examinations (CEs) and Medical Tests

The analyst should recommend a remand to obtain a CE(s) and/or medical test(s) when additional evidence is necessary to establish the nature, severity, and/or duration of the claimant's impairment(s), and such evidence does not appear to be available from the claimant's medical sources. See Appeals Text Guide 6-20-20 to 6-20-23 and stored paragraph from section 6-20-29, as appropriate.

Examples

1. The onset of disability occurred less than 12 months ago and the impairment could prevent the claimant from engaging in SGA for at least 12 months, but there is no prognosis by an examining physician.

2. The evidence indicates a significant psychiatric impairment, but the claimant's medical sources could not provide data on the effect of the impairment on the claimant's ability to function in a work setting.

C. Medical Development--M-Attachments

If a case is referred to the Medical Support Staff (MSS), and the MSS identifies specific additional tests or studies to request, they will revise the standard M-attachment accordingly and sign the form. Place this form in the claims file to assist the ALJ in requesting the development. The MSS will not include analysis or judgments on the form.

The analyst should annotate the route slip, Form HA-505, as follows: "Please see the revised M-attachment for additional tests recommended by our MSS."

Note that MSS narrative comments are advisory in nature and for the use of the Appeals Council only. Do not prepare them for formal entry into the record and do not send them to the ALJ. Do not refer to the MSS narrative comments in the remand order, unless the Council requests it.

D. Limits on Specific CE Requests

In most circumstances, the Appeals Council's remand order does not direct that a particular type of specialist perform a consultative examination, or that a particular medical diagnostic test be performed because the desired specialist or test may not be available in the hearing office's service area. Remand orders requiring consultative examinations or tests should describe the purpose of the examination/test, not the specific sub-specialties or diagnostic tests. If there is some compelling reason for such instructions, qualify the order by specifically stating "if available" or "if possible."

If directing an ALJ to obtain a CE or test, request only that development essential to a proper decision on the claim (e.g., do not order a complete CE if the only development needed is X-rays).

NOTE: Do not direct the ALJ to obtain diagnostic tests or procedures that involve significant risk to the claimant, such as myelograms, arteriograms, or cardiac catheterizations.

Similarly, avoid instructing the ALJ to obtain a consultative psychiatric examination, which would limit the ALJ's flexibility to obtain a mental status examination by a psychologist in areas where there is a scarcity of psychiatrists (see SP 23 and SP 24 in section 6-20-29 of the Appeals Text Guide).



HALLEX I-3-712

Office of Hearings and Appeals

Social Security Administration (S.S.A.)

Department of Health and Human Services

Volume I

Division III: Appeals Court Review

Subject: Appeals Council Remands

Chapter: I-3-700

June 30, 1994

Current through June 1997

I-3-712 REMAND FOR MEDICAL EXPERT TESTIMONY

Citations: > 20 CFR 404.1525 and 404.1526, 416.925 and 416.926

The Appeals Council may remand a case to an ALJ when it determines that the testimony of a Medical Expert (ME) is necessary to decide the case. ME testimony may help the ALJ resolve conflicts in the medical evidence of record or determine the significance of clinical or laboratory findings. Hearing offices maintain a roster of MEs (physicians and psychologists) who are available to provide impartial expert advice or medical opinion at an ALJ's request.

Under the concept of medical equivalence, a physician designated by the Secretary is required to decide whether the medical findings of an individual's impairment(s), although not specifically described by any listed set of medical criteria in the Listing of Impairments, are at least medically equal to one of the listed sets. As appropriate, the ALJ or Appeals Council will solicit the judgment of an ME to determine whether the medical findings (symptoms, signs, and laboratory findings) are of at least equivalent clinical significance to the findings required for a listed impairment. Testimony of an ME may also be necessary to assess the claimant's functional limitations in determining equivalence.

The Appeals Council may remand a case to obtain medical expert testimony alone or in conjunction with other necessary development.

The Appeals Council may also remand a case for medical expert testimony if, in response to proffer of MSS comments, the claimant or representative requests to cross-examine the MSS physician and demonstrates that written interrogatories will not suffice.



HALLEX I-3-713

Office of Hearings and Appeals

Social Security Administration (S.S.A.)

Department of Health and Human Services

Volume I

Division III: Appeals Court Review

Subject: Appeals Council Remands

Chapter: I-3-700

June 30, 1994

Current through June 1997

I-3-713 REMAND FOR VOCATIONAL EVIDENCE

In disability cases the Appeals Council may remand to obtain vocational evidence, including the testimony of a Vocational Expert (VE) at a hearing. VE testimony or other vocational evidence may be necessary with respect to issues such as:

- how a particular job is usually performed;

- whether the claimant acquired any skills in past relevant work and, if so, whether the claimant can use such skills in a significant number of skilled or semi-skilled occupations which the claimant has the residual functional capacity to perform;

- based upon hypothetical situations the ALJ describes, what jobs the claimant can perform, the incidence in the national economy of such jobs, and whether, for individuals age 55 or over, such jobs require any vocational adjustment;

- whether limitations and restrictions resulting from the claimant's exertional or nonexertional impairment(s) substantially diminish the occupational base administratively noticed in Appendix 2 to Subpart P;

- whether the claimant's remaining occupational base represents a significant number of jobs in the national economy; and

- whether the claimant can perform a significant number of jobs administratively noticed in Appendix 2 to Subpart P.



HALLEX I-3-714

Office of Hearings and Appeals

Social Security Administration (S.S.A.)

Department of Health and Human Services

Volume I

Division III: Appeals Court Review

Subject: Appeals Council Remands

Chapter: I-3-700

June 30, 1994

Current through June 1997

I-3-714 REMAND FOR OTHER REASONS

The Appeals Council may remand for other reasons, such as:

A. Work Activity

The Appeals Council may remand to develop work activity and determine whether the claimant engaged in SGA during the period he or she was found under a disability. See Appeals Text Guide 6-20-40.

B. Waiver of Recovery of Overpayment

The Appeals Council may remand to develop the issue of waiver of recovery of an overpayment, when the issue was properly before the ALJ but was not resolved and the evidence is insufficient for the Appeals Council to resolve the issue.

C. Insured Status

The Appeals Council may remand to develop the issue of insured status. See Appeals Text Guide 6-20-41.

See > I-3-114 regarding referral of cases to the Retirement and Survivors Staff when there is an earnings discrepancy which may affect insured status or the special disability insured status requirements are not met at any time.

D. Circuit Law

The Appeals Council may remand a case for compliance with circuit law. See > I-3-390, Exhibit 1, and the OHA Circuit Court Case Reporter, HALLEX, Part 1 of Vol. II.

E. State Plan

The Appeals Council may remand a case for consideration of cessation of disability under a State plan in title XVI cases. See Appeals Text Guide 6-20-42.

F. Lost or Inaudible Hearing Cassette

When the Appeals Council is considering a request for review and finds that a hearing cassette is lost or inaudible, it will grant the request for review and remand the case for another hearing. The remand order will reflect any other reason(s) for remanding the case in addition to the issue of the lost or inaudible cassette.

EXCEPTION: If the Appeals Council is prepared to issue a fully favorable decision, it may do so rather than remand the case for another hearing.

G. Claimant Objects to Decision Issued by ALJ Who Did Not Conduct the Hearing.

When the ALJ who conducted the hearing is unable to issue the decision because he or she leaves the Department of Health and Human Services, dies, etc., another ALJ may issue the decision. Refer to chapter > I-2-840 for further discussion of when an ALJ who did not conduct the hearing may issue the decision. If the claimant objects to this procedure and if the credibility of testimony or the demeanor of a witness is critical to the decision, the Appeals Council may vacate the decision and remand the case to an ALJ for a supplemental hearing and a new decision. The ALJ will base the decision on the evidence and oral testimony the ALJ receives in connection with the supplemental hearing, as well as the evidence and testimony received in connection with the original hearing.

H. Unfair Hearing Allegations

When a claimant alleges that the hearing was unfair and the record supports the allegation (see > I-3-125), the Appeals Council will vacate the hearing decision and remand the case to an ALJ for a hearing and decision. In the remand order the Appeals Council will specify all of the reasons for remanding the case, including any reason(s) unrelated to the unfair hearing issue. The order will also direct that the case be assigned to an ALJ other than the one who conducted the prior hearing.

When the Appeals Council determines that the record does not support an unfair hearing allegation, but is remanding the case for another reason(s), the remand order will specify that the Council considered the claimant's allegation and concluded that the claimant received a fair hearing.

I. Mental Impairment Cases

The Appeals Council will remand those cases in which the ALJ has not considered 404.1520a and/or 416.920a despite the clear presence of a medically determinable mental impairment.

When the ALJ has properly considered 404.1520a and/or 416.920a but has not completed a PRTF required by the regulations, the Appeals Council will not remand solely for completion of the PRTF. If the Appeals Council agrees with the ALJ's conclusions and no further development or testimony is needed, the Council will grant review for the purpose of preparing a PRTF, in accordance with the ALJ's findings, and issuing an affirming decision with the PRTF attached.

J. Following Proffer of Additional Evidence

The Appeals Council will remand for further proceedings when the claimant requests further consideration by an ALJ after the Appeals Council proffers additional evidence. See Appeals Text Guide 6-20-43.


K. Relationship or Dependency

The Appeals Council will remand a case when it is necessary to obtain evidence and/or resolve discrepancies relating to an individual's relationship to and/or dependency on the wage earner.

L. Adversely Affected Individual

The Appeals Council will remand a case to afford the right to a hearing to an adversely affected individual who was not made a party to the prior proceedings. See > 20 CFR 404.932 and 416.1432.

M. Income and Resources Issues

The Appeals Council will remand a case when it is necessary to substantiate allegations and resolve discrepancies relating to grant amounts, living arrangements, income, resources, etc., in SSI cases.



HALLEX I-3-720

Office of Hearings and Appeals

Social Security Administration (S.S.A.)

Department of Health and Human Services

Volume I

Division III: Appeals Court Review

Subject: Appeals Council Remands

Chapter: I-3-700

June 30, 1994

Current through June 1997

I-3-720 REMAND AFTER APPEALS COUNCIL VACATES DISMISSAL OF REQUEST FOR HEARING

A. General

When the Appeals Council vacates an ALJ's dismissal of a request for hearing under > 20 CFR 404.960/416.1460, it will generally remand the case to an ALJ for necessary action on the request for hearing.

B. How Case Comes Before the Appeals Council

1. The claimant may request review of an ALJ's dismissal action (> 20 CFR 404.967, 416.1467).

2. The Appeals Council may assume jurisdiction on its own motion, within 60 days after the notice of dismissal is mailed (> 20 CFR 404.969, 416.1469).

Example:

ALJ dismissed on the basis that no reconsidered determination had been made, and the Appeals Council receives information that a reconsidered determination had in fact been made.

3. The claimant, within 60 days after the date of receipt of the dismissal notice, may request the Appeals Council (or the ALJ) to vacate the dismissal (> 20 CFR 404.960, 416.1460).

C. Appeals Council Staff Actions--General

1. The Appeals Council must take formal action on requests for review of an ALJ's dismissal and requests that the Council vacate an ALJ's dismissal. The effect of either type of request is the same. The Council will either (1) deny the request or (2) grant the request, vacate the dismissal, and remand the case to the ALJ.

If the claimant requested the ALJ to vacate the dismissal, and did not file a similar request or a request for review with the Council, Appeals Council staff will return the case to the ALJ at the ALJ's request.

2. The analyst will recommend vacating the ALJ's dismissal if the evidence, including any current evidence or statements submitted, shows that the dismissal action is not proper and that the claimant should receive a hearing on the basis of the original request for hearing.



HALLEX I-3-730

Office of Hearings and Appeals

Social Security Administration (S.S.A.)

Department of Health and Human Services

Volume I

Division III: Appeals Court Review

Subject: Appeals Council Remands

Chapter: I-3-700

June 30, 1994

Current through June 1997

I-3-730 PREPARATION OF ANALYSIS

1. Complete Form HA-52 and Form HA-52A (in disability cases).

2. Explain why review is warranted under the regulations and what specific actions the ALJ must take.

NOTE: It is not necessary to repeat in the analysis information which is clearly specified in the proposed remand order.



HALLEX I-3-740

Office of Hearings and Appeals

Social Security Administration (S.S.A.)

Department of Health and Human Services

Volume I

Division III: Appeals Court Review

Subject: Appeals Council Remands

Chapter: I-3-700

June 30, 1994

Current through June 1997

I-3-740 PREPARATION OF REMAND ORDER

A. A remand order serves two purposes:

1. The Appeals Council remand order instructs the ALJ what action(s) to take and why the action(s) is necessary; and

2. The remand order also communicates information to the claimant.

Therefore, in addition to providing precise, comprehensive and accurate information and instructions to the ALJ, it is also necessary to draft language from the claimant's perspective.

B. Refer to chapter 6-20 of the Appeals Text Guide for remand order shells and stored paragraphs to complete or modify as necessary to reflect the facts of each individual case.

C. The analyst will draft the insert language following these rules:

1. Focus attention on the decision or dismissal under review, rather than on the ALJ who wrote it. Do not dwell on the ALJ's "failures" or "errors" in such a way that could possibly undermine his or her authority in future dealings with the claimant and the representative.

2. Refer to the claimant in the third person, e.g., as "the claimant," rather than in the second person, as the Appeals Council does in denial notices.

3. Use the active voice.

4. To the extent possible, use words which are simple and precise.

5. Omit surplus words.

6. Use legally correct terms.

7. To the extent possible, do not use in-house jargon.

8. Set forth clearly and concisely the reasons for the remand and the instructions for further action. Avoid rationale language that broadly suggests what is required but is not specific enough to help the ALJ.

9. Specify what evidence is needed and why.

10. Cite pertinent conflicts in the record.

11. Follow current instructions on pertinent circuit case law. If the hearing decision did not adequately respond to issues which are of particular concern in that circuit (see > I-3-307 and > I-3-390, Exhibit 1), the analyst must so specify in the remand order, and include the excerpt from the circuit court decision exactly as it appears in > I-3-390, Exhibit 1.

12. Identify the new and material evidence which the claimant submitted to the Appeals Council and which is a basis for the remand.

In addition, remember that correct spelling and grammar are important to all readers.

D. Appeals Council remands will direct that, to the extent practicable, the Hearing Office Chief ALJ assign the remand to the ALJ who issued the decision or dismissal (see > I-2-155).

EXCEPTION: This policy will not apply when the Council directs that the case be assigned to a different ALJ; e.g., it is determined that the claimant did not receive a full and fair hearing or it is a second remand.

E. If the Appeals Council does not order that a hearing be held, the remand order will require the ALJ to offer the claimant an opportunity to appear at a hearing, even when the claimant initially waived an oral hearing.

EXCEPTION: In title II disability claims in which the period at issue expired before the date of the hearing decision, the claimant need not be offered the opportunity for a hearing unless the ALJ finds that the facts warrant it.

F. Forward the case to a typist for preparation of the remand order, Form HA-L7-U6 (8/88) cover letter, and Form HA-505 route slip transmitting the case to the hearing office.

G. Proofread the typed material. If it is accurate, forward the file with the recommendation and remand order to the Appeals Council for approval.



HALLEX I-3-741

Office of Hearings and Appeals

Social Security Administration (S.S.A.)

Department of Health and Human Services

Volume I

Division III: Appeals Court Review

Subject: Appeals Council Remands

Chapter: I-3-700

June 30, 1994

Current through June 1997

I-3-741 ADMINISTRATIVE APPEALS JUDGE'S ACTION

The AAJ will review the recommendation and proposed remand order. The AAJ may return the case to the analyst for further analysis, revision, or to prepare a different action. If the AAJ approves the recommendation, he or she will forward the case to the "B" AAJ for consideration.

See > I-3-651 regarding the requirement that the Appeals Council provide prior notice in own motion cases.



HALLEX I-3-742

Office of Hearings and Appeals

Social Security Administration (S.S.A.)

Department of Health and Human Services

Volume I

Division III: Appeals Court Review

Subject: Appeals Council Remands

Chapter: I-3-700

June 30, 1994

Current through June 1997

I-3-742 RELEASE OF REMAND ORDER AND FILE (REVISED 09/92)

Following approval and signature by the AAJs, the appeals technician will mail the remand order and file to the hearing office servicing the claimant's address for further action, and mail copies of the remand order with a covering letter to the claimant and representative, if any.



HALLEX I-3-743

Office of Hearings and Appeals

Social Security Administration (S.S.A.)

Department of Health and Human Services

Volume I

Division III: Appeals Court Review

Subject: Appeals Council Remands

Chapter: I-3-700

June 30, 1994

Current through June 1997

I-3-743 RELEASE OF APPEALS FILE

The appeals technician will return the appeals file, containing the OAO working papers and a copy of the remand order, to the mini-docket of the branch which handled the case.



HALLEX I-3-750

Office of Hearings and Appeals

Social Security Administration (S.S.A.)

Department of Health and Human Services

Volume I

Division III: Appeals Court Review

Subject: Appeals Council Remands

Chapter: I-3-700

June 30, 1994

Current through June 1997

I-3-750 ALJ REQUESTS CLARIFICATION OF REMAND ORDER (REVISED 09/92)

An ALJ may seek clarification of an Appeals Council remand order only when the ALJ (1) cannot carry out the directive(s) set forth in the order, or (2) the directive(s) appears to have been rendered moot. ALJs will not seek clarification of Appeals Council remand orders under any other circumstances.

See > I-2-185 A., When an ALJ May Seek Clarification, for examples of valid clarification requests as well as examples of requests that are not valid and which will not be granted. Section > I-2-185 B., Procedure to Request Clarification, describes the procedures for an ALJ to follow when seeking clarification, and also contains the required concurrences and time limits which must be met to ensure that the process does not cause unnecessary delays. See section > I-4-360 for the procedures pertinent to handling requests for clarification on court cases.

After the ALJ receives the required concurrences, the ALJ will send the clarification request with the claim file directly to the Deputy Chair of the Appeals Council, and send copies of the request to the claimant, representative, Chief ALJ (Attention: Director of DFPP), and Regional Chief ALJ. At the beginning of the clarification request, the ALJ will include a statement that the Chief ALJ has approved the request for clarification of the Appeals Council remand order.

A. Deputy Chair Actions

The Deputy Chair will:

1. send the clarification request and claim file to the "A" AAJ, and

2. send copies of the clarification request to the claimant, representative, Chief ALJ (Attention: Director of DFPP), and Regional Chief ALJ if the ALJ did not distribute copies.

B. Branch Actions

1. The "A" AAJ will immediately assign the case.

2. After consulting with the "A" AAJ, the analyst or other designated employee will prepare a response at the Appeals Council's direction, usually an Appeals Council order clarifying points raised by the ALJ.

The AAJs who issued the remand order will respond to the ALJ's clarification request as soon as possible, but in no case more than 20 days after receipt of the ALJ's clarification request and the claim file. Both AAJs will sign the response and route it to the Deputy Chair before release. The Deputy Chair will return the response to the "A" AAJ who, in turn, will send the response and the claim file to the ALJ, and send copies of the response to the claimant, representative, Chief ALJ (Attention: Director of DFPP), and Regional Chief ALJ. The "A" AAJ's office will also update SSADARS.



HALLEX I-3-755

Office of Hearings and Appeals

Social Security Administration (S.S.A.)

Department of Health and Human Services

Volume I

Division III: Appeals Court Review

Subject: Appeals Council Remands

Chapter: I-3-700

June 30, 1994

Current through June 1997

I-3-755 APPEALS COUNCIL VACATES REMAND ORDER AFTER REQUEST FOR CLARIFICATION (REVISED 09/92)

The Appeals Council may decide to vacate its remand order after it receives a request for clarification. If the Council vacates its remand order, it will notify the claimant and representative before taking further action unless the Council issues a fully favorable decision. The Council will also notify the ALJ, Chief ALJ (Attention: Director of DFPP), and Regional Chief ALJ. Thereafter, the analyst will prepare a new action document for the action the Council now decides to take.

NOTE: The Appeals Council will not vacate a remand order after the ALJ has held a new hearing.



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