I-4-1-52.Assembly of Procedural Material

Last Update: 9/13/05 (Transmittal I-4-15)

A. Pulling Non-Exhibit Material

The procedural portion of the administrative record consists of those documents which reflect the ALJ's and AC'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 CRA 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

  • waiver of claimant to be represented at hearing

  • medical advisor's professional qualifications

  • vocational expert's professional qualifications

  • ALJ (hearing) decision

  • request for review of hearing decision (or AC own motion review letter - usually made an AC exhibit)

  • request for extension of time to submit additional evidence

  • order of AC remanding case to an ALJ

  • request for reopening

  • AC or ALJ response to request for reopening

  • AC order admitting additional evidence into the record

  • action or decision of the AC

  • claimant's request for extension of time in which to file a civil action

  • AC order or letter extending the time to file a civil action

The CRA 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 AC decision.

B. Correspondence Normally Included in the Procedural Record

In addition to the above documents, the CRA 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 AC's last action on the case — only if the ALJ or AC did not enter it as an exhibit. The CRA 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 AC 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 AC.

  • 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.

  • Cover 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 of payment 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.

  • Subpoena to witness (only if the individual testified) and the witness' response, if available.

C. Correspondence Not Normally Included in the Procedural Record

The CRA 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.

  • DDS 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).

  • Internal memoranda, reports of contact, worksheets, or memoranda for the file.

The CRA must resolve any question of whether or not to include an item by consulting with the OS.

D. Additional Evidence Found in Non-Exhibit Material

If the file contains any additional evidence which the claimant or attorney submitted and the AC has not responded to this additional evidence, the CRA cannot prepare the administrative record until the AC takes such action. The CRA must bring such a case to the attention of the OS, who must refer it to a CCPRB analyst for action pursuant to I-4-1-25 C.

E. Assembling the Procedural Documents

The CRA must assemble and index documents in reverse chronological order. If the ALJ or AC enters a procedural document as an exhibit, the CRA lists that document on the index to the administrative record with a cross-reference to the exhibit.

The CRA must use the best copy of any material. If it is necessary to use a file box copy, the CRA must cover the file box information at the bottom of the page.