I-2-0-40.Request for Hearing — Filing Requirements

Last Update: 6/2/09 (Transmittal I-2-74)

Citations:

20 CFR §§ 404.930-404.933; 416.1430-416.1433; and 405.301-405.310.

A. Who May File a Request for Hearing (RH)

A claimant or an individual properly authorized to represent the claimant, who is dissatisfied with an initial determination in prototype states (I-2-4-98, Exhibit – Prototype States and Case Processing), a reconsidered or revised reconsideration determination, a revised initial determination not involving a medical issue, or a proposed revised decision based on new evidence, may file a RH.

B. Where to File the RH

  1. A claimant may file a RH at any office of the Social Security Administration (SSA). This is usually a field office (FO), but it may also be a hearing office (HO). A claimant may also file a RH on the SSA Internet Website.

  2. A claimant residing outside the 50 states, the District of Columbia, American Samoa, Guam, the Northern Mariana Islands, Puerto Rico, or the Virgin Islands may file a RH at the Veterans Administration Regional Office in the Philippines or at any Office of the U.S. Foreign Service.

  3. A qualified individual having ten or more years of service in the railroad industry, or at least five years of such service accruing after December 31, 1995, may file a RH at an office of the Railroad Retirement Board.

C. How to File the RH

The claimant or a representative on the claimant's behalf may file a RH by completing a “Request for Hearing” form, i.e., Form HA-501 or by filing any written communication which contains an express or implied statement of intent to request a hearing. The preprinted HA-501 is a snapout form consisting of copies for the claimant, representative, claim file (CF), and the HO and FO servicing the claimant's address. The form is also available in Spanish.

NOTE:

SSA will accept faxed appeal requests.

1. Form HA-501

The claimant should use Form HA-501 if the case involves disability insurance benefits (DIB), retirement and survivors insurance (RSI), supplemental security income (SSI), Title VIII benefits to certain veterans of World War II, or questions of entitlement to health insurance under Part A or Part B of Title XVIII of the Social Security Act.

2. Written Statements

To be considered a valid RH, a written communication by the claimant or representative must contain a clearly expressed or implied statement of the claimant's intent to request a hearing.

3. Completion of Form HA-501.

If the HO receives a written communication which constitutes a RH, the HO staff must complete the appropriate RH form as follows:

  1. Type the claimant's name in the signature block.

  2. It is no longer necessary to obtain the claimant"s signature on the form because the claimant or representative's signature is not required on the written communication which constitutes the RH.

  3. Enter the servicing FO code in the lower right corner of the form. This code can be found in the Detailed Office/Organization Resource System (DOORS).

  4. Enter the date the RH was filed. (See I-2-0-50 B., Date of the RH.)

  5. Obtain the signature of the Hearing Office Chief Administrative Law Judge or designee on the acknowledgement portion of the RH form.

  6. Attach the actual written communication to the CF copy of the HO-prepared RH form.

  7. Contact the servicing FO to verify the right to a hearing and to request the CF.

  8. Distribute copies of the form as appropriate.

D. Congressional Interest

1. Congressional Letter Requests Hearing

If the HO receives a written inquiry from a Member of Congress, which cites a claimant's dissatisfaction with an initial determination in prototype states, or a reconsideration or revised determination, and expressly states or implies that the Member is requesting a hearing on the claimant's behalf, accept the letter as a valid RH and take the following actions:

  • Prepare a written response to acknowledge receipt of the congressional letter. In this response, inform the Member of Congress that the letter has been accepted as a RH on behalf of the claimant.

  • Prepare Form HA-501. (See I-2-0-40 C.3.)

  • Ensure that the congressional letter is date-stamped and that the postmarked envelope in which the letter was mailed is not destroyed (for purposes of establishing the filing date).

NOTE:

The Member of Congress will be deemed to be acting for, but not representing, the claimant or party. Therefore, do not enclose representation forms with the acknowledgement letter.

NOTE:

The HO should also handle such communication as an expression of interest by the Member of Congress and shall denote the case in CPMS as a case having Congressional interest. See HALLEX I-1-6-1 for further instructions on Congressional inquiries.

2. Congressional Letter Does Not Request Hearing

If the HO receives a written communication from a Member of Congress which cites a claimant's dissatisfaction with a reconsideration or revised determination, but does not expressly state or imply that the claimant intends to request a hearing, accept the congressional letter and take the following actions:

  • Prepare a written response to acknowledge receipt of the congressional letter. In this response, request that the Member advise the claimant to contact the appropriate FO if the claimant wishes to file a RH.

  • Ensure that the congressional letter is date-stamped and retain the postmarked envelope in which the letter was mailed.

  • Make a copy of the congressional letter and envelope for the administrative record and ALJ file, and send the originals to the appropriate FO, along with a copy of the HO's acknowledgement of the congressional letter, for action following their usual procedures.

NOTE:

The HO should also handle such communication as an expression of interest by the Member of Congress and shall denote the case in CPMS as a case having Congressional interest. See HALLEX I-1-6-1 for further instructions on Congressional inquiries.

3. Congressional Phone Inquiry

If the HO receives a congressional telephone inquiry, prepare and date a report of contact (RC) to document the inquiry, inform the person making the inquiry that the request for hearing must be in writing, and forward the RC to the appropriate FO for action. Also, request that the person making the inquiry advise the claimant to contact the appropriate FO if he or she wishes to file a RH. To access a Report of Contact in DGS, go to “Correspondence”, click on “Other” and then click “Report of Contact.”