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-4-152 ASSEMBLY OF PROCEDURAL MATERIAL
A. Pulling Non-exhibit Material
The procedural portion of the administrative record consists of those documents which reflect the ALJ's and Appeals Council's treatment and consideration of the claimant's claim. It includes not only the final outcome, but also, the documents relating to procedural due process. The court records technician must pull the following documents from the non-exhibit material if they are part of the proceedings:
appointment of representative forms;
request for hearing;
notice of hearing;
amended notice of hearing;
reply card from claimant acknowledging receipt of notice of hearing;
ALJ order establishing good cause for untimely filing;
waiver of advance notice of hearing;
amended notice of hearing;
notice of supplemental hearing;
statement of claimant requesting to examine the exhibits or requesting copies of the exhibits and the response;
waiver of claimant/representative to examine additional evidence;
ALJ (hearing) decision;
request for review of hearing decision (or Appeals Council own motion review letter--usually made an Appeals Council exhibit);
attorney brief, memorandum, or deposition;
request for extension of time to submit additional evidence;
order of Appeals Council remanding case to an ALJ;
request for reopening;
Appeals Council or ALJ response to request for reopening;
Appeals Council order admitting additional evidence into the record;
action or decision of the Appeals Council;
claimant's request for extension of time in which to file a civil action; and
Appeals Council order or letter extending time to file a civil action.
The technician must also make the certification of Social Insurance Award, if any, a part of the procedural portion if it was issued as a result of an ALJ or Appeals Council decision.
B. Correspondence Normally Included in the Procedural Record
In addition to the above documents, the technician must also include correspondence in the procedural portion of the administrative record if it falls within the time frame of the record--i.e., between the date of the request for hearing and the Appeals Council's last action on the case--only if the ALJ or Appeals Council did not enter it as an exhibit. The technician must read all correspondence to determine if it should be made part of the record.
Correspondence which may be part of the record includes:
letters between the ALJ or Appeals Council and the claimant or his or her representative;
letter from the claimant or his or her representative erroneously addressed--e.g., to SSA, but obviously intended for the ALJ or Appeals Council;
letter written on behalf of the claimant, such as from the spouse;
letter from a member of Congress only if he or she is acting as representative for the claimant or submitting new evidence on behalf of the claimant;
covering letter for brief, memorandum, or deposition submitted by claimant's representative; (such letters are usually considered part of the document they forward and are referenced on the Index.)
letter from SSA to claimant concerning payment or cessation during the appropriate time frame;
letter(s) to the vocational expert and/or medical expert who appeared at the hearing;
letter to or from medical facilities if a copy was furnished to the claimant or his or her representative; and
subpoena to witness (only if the individual testified), and the witness' response, if available.
C. Correspondence Not Normally Included in the Procedural Record
The technician will not normally include the following types of correspondence as part of the procedural record:
Congressional correspondence (unless the member of Congress acts as representative for the claimant or submits new evidence);
correspondence with the Commissioner of Social Security;
attorney fee petitions and correspondence solely referring to attorney fees, waiver of fees, etc.;
State agency correspondence (unless the Administration sent a copy to the claimant or his or her representative);
Department of Veterans Affairs (VA) correspondence (unless the VA sent a copy to the claimant or his or her representative);
envelope transmitting correspondence (unless it is essential to establish a mailing date); and
internal memoranda, reports of contact, worksheets, or memoranda for the file.
The technician must resolve any question of whether or not to include an item by consulting with the operations supervisor.
D. Additional Evidence Found in Non-exhibit Material
If the file contains any additional evidence which the claimant or attorney submitted and the Appeals Council has not responded to this additional evidence, the technician cannot prepare the administrative record until the Appeals Council takes such action. The technician must bring such a case to the attention of the operations supervisor, who must refer it to an analyst for action pursuant to > I-4-125 C.
E. Assembling the Procedural Documents
The technician must assemble and index documents in reverse chronological order. If the ALJ or Appeals Council enters a procedural document as an exhibit, the technician lists that document on the index to the administrative record with a cross-reference to the exhibit.
The technician must use the best copy of any material. If it is necessary to use a file box copy, the technician must cover the file box information at the bottom of the page.