Office of Hearings and Appeals
Social Security Administration (S.S.A.)
Department of Health and Human Services
Division IV: Civil Action
Subject: New Court Cases
June 30, 1994
Current through June 1997
I-4-112 OBTAINING FILES AND CASSETTES
A. File Requests
Upon receipt of the teletype or complaint, the clerk in the operating division must prepare a SSADARS coding sheet which confirms notification of suit. The clerk must obtain an HA-04 query to verify the plaintiff's name and social security number and to determine if the file is located in OHA. If there is a problem in ascertaining the correct social security number, the clerk must call the Office of the U.S. Attorney, plaintiff's attorney, the OGC Answer Section, the Hearing Office and the Office of Appellate Operations. If the file location is other than OHA, the clerk will obtain a BDIQ or SSI query. After the clerk determines the file location, he or she requests the component which has the file to send it to the OCA operating division which has jurisdiction. The clerk must request the claim file on the same day (or no later than the following day) that OCA receives notification of suit.
1. File in OAO
If the HA-04 shows file location in the Office of Appellate Operations (OAO) including Program Review Branches, Docket and Files, and RSI, HI & SSI Staff, the clerk will complete a request form (see > I-4-199, Exhibit Q) clearly indicating the OAO file location. The 16 program review branches handle disability (Title II and XVI) cases. Retirement and survivors benefit cases, widow's cases (non-disability), SSI non-disability and health insurance cases are handled by the RSI, HI & SSI Staff. The request form must include the following: (1) the OAO branch to which the request is being sent; (2) the date of the request; (3) the OCA clerk's name, telephone number and room number; (4) the OCA division's SSADARS code; and (5) the claimant's name, social security number and a copy of SSADARS HA-04 PRINTOUT.
The clerk must make a copy of the request form and handcarry the forms to the office of the Deputy Director for Operations, OAO. The OCA division clerk must date stamp both the original and the copy of the request form and place the original in the designated mail box. The division clerk must not batch the request forms together for delivery at the end of the day. On Fridays, the clerk must deliver the forms to the office of the Deputy Director for Operations, OAO before 2 p.m. The clerk retains a copy in the OCA division to use for follow-ups as well as other file notations. At the end of the month the clerk submits the forms to the operations supervisor.
2. File not in OHA Headquarters
If the inquiry indicates that the claim file is located outside OHA HQ (e.g., in the Division of Appealed Claims (DAC) or another module in the Office of Disability and International Operations), the clerk must annotate the request form (see > I-4-199, Exhibit Q) for diary control purposes clearly indicating the claim file location. The clerk must attach the BDIQ to the request form and give it to the Lead Case Control Clerk to send an administrative message via SSADARS. The Lead Clerk must annotate on the request form the date the message was sent and return the request form to the case control clerk. The Lead Case Control Clerk must verify that the component which has the claim file received the administrative message. If the location on the BDIQ is a District Office, State Agency, Program Center, Hearing Office, the Federal Record Center, or other component outside OHA Headquarters, the clerk must contact the component by telephone. The clerk must annotate the request form indicating the component contacted. In addition, he or she must note, on the request form, the date of the request, the person contacted, telephone number and location.
3. Wang Entries
The clerk must attach glossary 0500 - the New Court Case Log Document. Select GL-n to enter a new court case. The clerk must enter the following information:
ä Claimant's name--last name, first name
ä Social Security Number
1 through 9;
C--District of Columbia
ä Claim type:
3--title II and XVI
ä Served date: Enter six digit date served. If unknown, enter six spaces.
ä Notified date: Enter date of teletype or date stamp on the summons and complaint.
ä File date: Found on teletype or summons and complaint.
ä Date file requested: Date stamp on your file request form, date of telephone call to outside component, or date administrative message sent.
ä OAO Branch:
Enter two digit number 01-16;
rs--for Title II retirement and survivor or Title XVI non-disability cases;
hi--for Title XVIII health insurance cases;
df-docket and files.
ä Priority code:
B. Follow-up Procedures for Non-receipt of Claim File
The division clerk must call the mini-docket in the OAO branch, the RSI, HI & SSI Staff, or the supervisor in Docket and Files if the requested claim file is not received within 3 calendar days. The OCA clerk must annotate the request form with the date of the follow-up call, the name of the person providing the information and the reason for the delay. If OAO advises that the file is located in another OHA Headquarters component, the division clerk must contact that component directly by telephone. If the case is in a component outside OHA Headquarters, the division clerk must make a follow-up call after 5 calendar days from the original request date. Be sure to annotate the request form for all follow-up telephone contacts. Every Friday morning, the clerk must print a list of cases requested from OAO program review branches (as of Monday of the same week) but not yet received and submit the list to the OCA operations supervisor. The operations supervisor must verify the list and forward it to the OCA Director's office by noon each Friday. The Director's office will prepare a memorandum to OAO concerning non-receipt of the files.
C. Action if File Not Received After 10 Days
If after 10 calendar days the clerk has not received the file or cannot locate the file, he or she must refer the case to the designated search specialist in the division. The specialist must continue to search for the file for another 5 days. If the search specialist does not locate the file during that period, he or she must request the OCA Director's office to issue an OHA Headquarters search memorandum. The search memorandum process normally takes 5 working days to complete. If the search process fails to locate the file, the search specialist must inform the division clerk. The Division Director must then assign the case to an analyst and the clerk must enter this assignment on the Wang OIS (GL-1).
D. Analyst Actions
The analyst may hold the case and continue to search for the file; however, he or she must be alert to the date Answer is due in court. The OGC Answer Section issues a daily listing of new court cases (called the "ANSWER LIST") on which answer is due in court in 18 calendar days and the Answer Section has received no response from OHA. (Note: If a court routinely grants the Secretary an extension of time to answer in a new court case, the case will not appear on the Answer List until 18 days before that extension expires). After the claimant's name appears on the Answer List, the analyst will allow 5 more calendar days to locate the missing file. If the analyst does not receive the file in 5 days, he or she must complete an HA-552 (see > I-4-199, Exhibit A) requesting remand "to locate and/or reconstruct the record" (see > I-4-125). Immediately following release of the HA-552, the analyst must forward a memo requesting reconstruction of the file to the OAO Reconstruction and Evaluation Branch.
E. Action Upon Receipt of File
Upon receipt of the claim file, the clerk in the OCA mailroom must date stamp the route slip. After the division clerk receives the file, he or she enters the date stamped on the slip on the Wang by accessing the New Court Case log document and entering GL-(f). The clerk must complete a 445 action on the SSADARS coding sheet and verify that the complaint was timely filed (see > I-4-131 A).
If the complaint is timely filed and if the Administrative Law Judge issued an Order of Dismissal, the clerk must assign the case to an analyst for an affidavit and update the New Court Case Log (GL-1).
If the complaint was timely filed, a hearing was held, and a hearing decision was issued, the clerk must pull the cassette and obtain a transcript of the hearing (see > I-4-114). If the file does not contain a hearing cassette and the decision was not issued on the record, the clerk must request the cassette from the Cassette Library. The clerk must staple a copy of the Cassette Library request form to the Request for File form. If a cassette tape is certified lost, the clerk must assign the case to an analyst.
If no hearing was held and a decision was issued on the record, the clerk must directly assign the case to a court records technician. The clerk must update the New Court Case Log to show the technician's initials and date assigned (GL-t).