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-4-158 SPECIAL SITUATIONS
A. "B" or "C" Cases
"B" or "C" cases are those in which there has been a prior final hearing decision or decisions on the same or a directly related issue. The hearing office adds the letter "B" to the numbers of the second set of exhibits, "C" to the third set, etc.
The procedural material in these records consists of all relevant material from the current request for hearing through the final action of the Appeals Council. The guidelines in > I-4-152 control the selection of material the technician must include in the procedural portion of these records.
Transcripts of prior hearings may also be necessary to complete the current record for these cases. If the current decision (or a prior decision which is an exhibit) substantively refers to testimony at a prior hearing, the technician must make that testimony part of the record.
The technician must place exhibits in the administrative record in their order of admission following the current exhibit list. The index must include all procedural documents related to the current request for hearing. See > I-4-159, Exhibit N, for a sample index in a "C" case. Section > I-4-159, Exhibit O illustrates the assembly of the record for a "C" case.
The record is "full and accurate" when it contains all procedural documents related to the current request for hearing, the transcript of the current hearing, the transcript of any previous hearing if necessary under the criteria discussed above, and all exhibits which the ALJ and Appeals Council admitted.
B. Expedited Appeals Process Cases
See section > I-4-142 for a description of an expedited appeals process case.
The appropriate format for construction of expedited appeals process records is as follows:
ä procedural documents,
ä application (or request for hearing), and
ä evidentiary documents or exhibits pertinent to the issue.
The technician must list the letter transmitting the executed agreement on the index because the date of this letter determines the civil action filing deadline. If the transmittal letter and agreement both bear the same date, the technician makes one entry on the index for both items. The date of the agreement is the date the SSA official signs it. The document is not valid unless both parties sign the agreement.
If the claim is expedited before it reaches the hearing level, the application will be the first procedural document. The technician must place the procedural documents in the certified administrative record in reverse chronological order. Include the request for the expedited appeals process and all other procedural documents which are described specifically on the index.
If the case did not progress to a hearing decision, the technician must consult with the Division Director or operations supervisor who will determine which documents the technician must include in the certified administrative record. The technician must place all relevant evidence in reverse chronological order at the end of the record and describe this evidence on the index. If there is a hearing decision and exhibit list, the construction of the record is similar to that for routine new court cases.
The certification varies, depending upon the contents of the record and the stage at which the claim was expedited.
See > I-4-159, Exhibit P for an illustration of an index and certification for a record when the claim was expedited at the reconsideration level.
C. Class Action Cases
See > I-4-620 for a description of class action cases.
When the case involves only one named litigant, the record is relatively simple and the technician constructs the record in the same format as the record for any new court case, except for the certification. When the case involves multiple named litigants the technician must prepare a separate transcript for each named litigant. In either case, the technician must use a certification which includes the names of each named litigant who is a party to the suit.
D. Supplemental Certified Administrative Records
If a certified administrative record (CAR) has already been filed with the court, any subsequent certification is referred to as a supplemental CAR. With respect to new court cases, a technician must prepare a supplemental CAR in the following situations:
ä When the technician prepared and released an incomplete CAR and the technician obtains the missing material. The material may consist of an exhibit or exhibits, the translation of an exhibit, or the transcript of an oral hearing.
ä When a portion (or portions) of a CAR is illegible, the technician supplements the CAR with copies which have been retyped, traced or simply are more legible.
ä When a portion of testimony in the transcript of oral hearing was "inaudible" or untranscribed, the court may direct the Secretary to supplement the CAR with a new transcript of that portion of the hearing testimony after audit of the tape.
ä When the technician inadvertently omitted a document from the CAR, the technician must prepare a supplemental CAR to complete the record before the court.
ä When some pages were omitted from the CAR because of an error in the printing process.
The technician will not prepare an index for a supplemental CAR consisting of one document; however, those comprised of more than one document must have an index. The technician will number a supplemental CAR by continuing the sequence started with the original CAR. For example, if the original CAR ended with page 201, the first page of the first document in the supplemental CAR will be page 202.
The language in supplemental certifications varies depending upon the situation, as shown in the following examples.
1. Supplemental CARs may consist of material that was not available when the original CAR was prepared:
ä One exhibit or document:
... hereby certify that the document annexed hereto is a true copy of Exhibit 18, a medical report from H. Jones, M.D. dated July 17, 1986, which was not available when the administrative record in the case of John Doe was certified on December 2, 1988.
ä More than one exhibit or document:
... hereby certify that the documents annexed hereto are true copies of Exhibits 4 - 7, described on page (i) herein, which were not available when the administrative record in the case of John Doe was certified on December 2, 1988.
ä Transcript of oral hearing:
... hereby certify that the document annexed hereto is a true and accurate transcript of the oral hearing held May 24, 1987, which was not available when the administrative record in the case of John Doe was certified on March 24, 1988.
ä Translation of document:
... hereby certify that the pages annexed hereto consist of a duplicate copy of Exhibit 19, and the translation thereof which was not available when the administrative record in the case of John Doe was certified on March 24, 1988.
2. Certifications of supplemental CARs may be needed to correct other deficiencies:
ä Corrected transcript of oral hearing:
... hereby certify that the document annexed hereto is a true and corrected transcription of the testimony taken at the hearing held May 24, 1987, in the administrative record in the case of John Doe, certified on March 24, 1988.
ä Best typed copies or more legible copies:
... hereby certify that the documents annexed hereto are true and accurate copies of Exhibits 15 and 22, described on page (i) herein, which were illegible in the administrative record in the case of John Doe, certified on March 24, 1988.
ä Documents omitted from administrative record by technician:
... hereby certify that the document annexed hereto is a true and accurate copy of a letter from the claimant's attorney to the Appeals Council dated October 7, 1987, which was inadvertently omitted from the administrative record in the case of John Doe, certified on March 24, 1988.
Pages omitted in printing:
... hereby certify that the documents annexed hereto are true and accurate copies of pages 18 and 19 which were inadvertently omitted from the administrative record in the case of John Doe, certified on March 24, 1988.
These examples do not cover all situations the technician may encounter in the preparation of supplemental CARs. The technician must submit any supplemental certifications which deviate from these formats to the operations supervisor in draft for approval.
E. Special Certifications (Red Ribbon Certifications)
Special certifications must be over the signature of the Director, OCA, and affixed with a wafer seal and red ribbons. The technician uses these red ribbon certifications when OCA receives a request for certified copies of documents which are usually not part of the record or when a request is made for documents involving a case in which a civil action has not yet been filed.
Some examples of documents formally certified are award letters, information from the Office of Central Records Operations, etc. Use special certifications to authenticate documents; e.g., when the claimant's attorney requests certified copies of documents which are part of the Departmental files.
The technician must assemble the requested documents and prepare the certification. See > I-4-159, Exhibit Q for a sample red ribbon certification. The original of the certification carries a ribbon which ties together the certification and the documents certified. The wafer seal impressed with the Department seal is placed over the ribbon. The certification sheet on all copies (except the file box copy) will be a photocopy of the original which bears the red ribbon and seal. The OCA Director initials the file box copy of the certification. Attach copies of all documents being certified to the file box copy of the certification and to all other copies of the certification.
See > I-4-159, Exhibit R for proper assembly of a red ribbon certification and material attached to it.
The technician must send an original and four copies to OGC with a covering transmittal on Form HA-505.
F. Provider Cases
The technician constructs these records in the same format as the record for any new court case, except for the distribution. The clerk must send the case to the Reprographics Staff with the instruction to return the claim file and all copies of the transcript to the technician. Upon receipt of the material and claim file from the Reprographics Staff, the technician must reassemble the claim file and mail out the copies of the transcript and the claim file to the proper locations. See > I-4-159, Exhibit M, for copy requirements, and > I-4-159, Exhibit K for distribution addresses.
G. Equal Access to Justice Act Cases
These are partially or fully favorable cases in which an attorney is litigating the issue of his or her fees. The claim can be taken to court following an award of benefits at any level. Consequently, construction of the transcript varies depending on the level of the appeals process at which the claimant was granted benefits. The technician must consult with the operations supervisor for guidance on construction of the record. The technician must release these cases in the same manner as any routine new court case.
H. Affidavit Cases
In some instances the court may not grant the Secretary's motion for dismissal and will order that a transcript be submitted. The technician must prepare and distribute these cases in the same manner as any routine new court case.