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-4-151 INITIAL SCREENING BY COURT RECORDS TECHNICIAN
A. Determining Case Priority
The operations supervisor assigns cases to technicians in rotation. Upon assignment, the technician must first determine the priority to give to each case. Generally, the Division Director, an analyst, or a clerk will have identified any case requiring immediate attention. The technician is responsible for identifying any cases from jurisdictions in which the courts grant no, or very limited, extensions of time in which to file answer (see > I-4-159, Exhibit A). The priority for processing by the technician is as follows:
1. "HOT-IN-HOUSE": Handle immediately and complete as soon as possible. These cases are due in court the following day or are overdue. The technician arranges for express mail delivery of copies directly to the U.S. Attorney or the OGC regional office
2. "HOT": Forward case to reprographics within 24 hours of assignment to the technician. Reprographics will usually prepare copies the same day and forward to the OGC Answer Section for distribution.
3. "EXPEDITE": Forward case to reprographics within 3 days of assignment to the technician.
4. "ROUTINE": Forward case to reprographics no later than 5 days after assignment to the technician.
B. Initial Screening--General
After receiving a case and checking its priority, the technician performs a general review of the files to detect any procedural or technical errors which must be corrected before assembly of the administrative record can be completed. The technician performs the preliminary review in order to identify any potential problems as early in the review as possible.
Before removing material from the claims file(s), the technician scans the summons and complaint to ascertain the type of claim being litigated, and ensures that he or she has the appropriate claim file(s) needed to complete the administrative record.
C. Procedural Review
The technician ensures that:
the Appeals Council has responded to any evidence received within 60 days of its final action, and
there is a typed Appeals Council order for all Appeals Council exhibits.
See > I-4-152 if any problems in the procedural record are identified.
D. Review of Hearing Transcript
The technician determines that:
there are typed transcripts of all relevant hearings;
the claim type, claimant's name and SSN are accurate;
page numbers are in correct sequence;
all witnesses took an oath;
the transcriber signed and certified the transcript; and
the number of any inaudibles is within the specified guidelines.
See > I-4-153 if any problems with the hearing transcript are found.
The technician ensures that:
there is an exhibit list for all exhibits present (including Appeals Council exhibits);
exhibits are legible and clearly marked;
exhibits match description on exhibit list;
exhibits match page count on exhibit list;
documents are mounted or reinforced; and
documents in foreign languages have been translated.
See > I-4-154 if any problems in the evidentiary record are identified.