I-2-4-5.Dismissing a Request for Hearing
Last Update: 7/22/05 (Transmittal I-2-59)
A. Conditions for Dismissal
An ALJ may dismiss a request for hearing (RH) under any of the following conditions:
The claimant who requested the hearing did not make the request within the prescribed time period and the ALJ has not extended the time for requesting a hearing. (See I-2-4-15, Hearing Request Not Timely Filed.)
The claimant who requested the hearing asks to withdraw the request and the ALJ has not mailed the notice of the hearing decision. (See I-2-4-20, Dismissal at the Claimant's Request.)
Neither the claimant who requested the hearing nor the claimant's representative appeared at the time and place set for the hearing and the ALJ does not find good cause for the failure to appear. (See I-2-4-25, Dismissal Due to Claimant's Failure to Appear.)
The claimant who requested a hearing has no right to a hearing. (See I-2-4-30, Dismissal — No Right to a Hearing.)
The claimant dies, there are no other claimants, and the record indicates that there is no other person who may be adversely affected by the determination which is the subject of the RH who wishes to pursue the request, or, for Title XVI benefits, there is no interim assistance reimbursement authorization in effect. (See I-2-1-50, Death of Claimant and I-2-4-35, Dismissal Due to Death of a Claimant).
The doctrine of res judicata applies. (See I-2-4-40, Res Judicata.)
A fully favorable revised determination has been issued. (See I-2-4-45, Favorable Revised Determination.)
An ALJ may NEVER issue a dismissal for any reason in proceedings after a sentence six court remand. An ALJ may issue a dismissal for any reason covered in this chapter in proceedings after a sentence four court remand. See I-2-8-18.A., Administrative Law Judge Decisions in Court Remand Cases, for instructions when the conditions for dismissal are met in a court remand case. See also I-2-4-95, Exhibit – Decision, Court Case Abandonment, for a sample decision when the claimant has abandoned the claim after a sentence six court remand. See also I-2-4-96, Exhibit – Dismissal of Sentence Four Court Remand Cases.
B. Order of Dismissal
When an ALJ dismisses a claimant's RH, he or she issues an Order of Dismissal and sends the order to the claimant at the claimant's last known address. Most of the dismissal forms are available to the ALJ through the Document Generation System (DGS). Access DGS in Word by clicking on the “File” menu and choosing “New SSA Doc.” Select “Decisions” from the menu that appears and then “Dismissal.” The ALJ may prepare the dismissal using a personal computer (PC) or may provide guidance to a staff member in the preparation of the dismissal. A single copy of the order is prepared for the ALJ's signature and is photocopied as necessary for distribution when mailing the dismissal.
The Order of Dismissal must contain the reasoning as to why the case meets the criteria for dismissal. If the claimant files a request of Appeals Council review of the Order of Dismissal, a well articulated rationale will provide the Council with the ALJ's reasoning. It will be a basis upon which to apply the review standards of substantial evidence and abuse of discretion.
The following dismissal formats are available in the Document Generation System (DGS) and may be used for dismissal orders.
For a Title II res judicata dismissal, use DGS and select the res judicata option from the dismissal menu. (See I-2-4-40, res judicata.)
For a Title II and/or Title XVI untimely request for hearing dismissal, use DGS and select the Untimely Request option from the dismissal menu (See I-2-4-15, Hearing Request Not Timely Filed.)
For a Title II and/or Title XVI withdrawal of request for hearing dismissal, use DGS, and select the “Claimant Withdraws” option from the dismissal menu (See I-2-4-20, Dismissal at the Claimant's Request.)
For a Title II and/or Title XVI failure to appear dismissal, use DGS and select the appropriate “Failure to Appear” option from the dismissal menu (See I-2-4-25, Dismissal Due to Claimant's Failure to Appear.)
For a Title II and/or Title XVI dismissal upon the death of the claimant, use DGS and select the “Claimant Deceased” option from the dismissal menu.
For a Title II and/or Title XVI dismissal when there has been a fully favorable revised determination, use DGS, selecting the “Blank Order” option and providing the necessary rationale.
When there has been no reconsideration in a Title II and/or Title XVI case, as in a prototype state, use DGS, selecting the “no reconsideration” option and completing the necessary information.
Cases processed in “prototype” states will not have a reconsidered determination. See I-2-4-98 for a list of the prototype states, and I-2-4-99 for specific information regarding handling of cases when a claimant moves to or from a “prototype state” during the adjudicative period. The timing of the claimant's address change can have a significant affect on case processing variables.
For Title II and/or Title XVI cases in which the claimant has no right to a hearing, use DGS for the dismissal order, selecting the “Blank Order” option and providing the necessary rationale.
For sentence four court remands, suggested language is in I-2-4-96.
For sentence six court remands that the claimant has abandoned after court remand, use DGS. In any decisional shell, select the Court Remand radio button, and then the Sentence Six radio button. Further suggested language is in I-2-4-95.
C. Transmitting the Order of Dismissal
DGS will generate the Notice of Dismissal and Order of Dismissal as part of the dismissal document. This notice informs the claimant of the right, within 60 days from the date the claimant receives the notice, to request Appeals Council review of the dismissal order.
D. Distributing Copies of the Order of Dismissal
Distribute copies of the dismissal order as needed, including a copy for the servicing field office (FO). Use the CPMS-generated Form HA-L48 (Transmittal by Office of Disability Adjudication and Review) to transmit copies of the dismissal order and claim file to the appropriate SSA components.
E. Documenting the Claim File
File a copy of the dismissal order inside the A section of the Modular Disability File (MDF) or Electronic Folder (EF), unless the dismissal is issued before the claim file is received. In that event, mail two copies of the dismissal order to the component that has the claim file for association with the claim file.
F. Effect of an ALJ's Dismissal
The regulations provide that the dismissal of an RH is binding unless vacated by an ALJ or the Appeals Council. A dismissal action is not considered a final decision of the Commissioner for purposes of filing a civil action.