Last Update: 9/13/05 (Transmittal I-4-15)
An ALJ, as explained in the procedures in I-3-7-50, may request clarification of the instructions in an AC remand order. The ALJ must follow the procedures in I-2-1-85. (See I-2-1-85 A. for examples of valid clarification requests as well as examples of requests which are not valid and on which no action will be taken.)
After approval by the Hearing Office Chief ALJ and the Regional Chief ALJ, the request for clarification is forwarded to the Office of the Executive Director, OAO for control purposes. Some requests for clarification are assigned to the Executive Director's staff for processing. When possible, the balance of the remaining requests is assigned to the OAO branch which issued the AC's remand order.
Upon receipt, information about the request for clarification is entered into the LOTS and/or ACAPS and the case is assigned to an analyst for priority review. The analyst must review the request, consult with the AAJ and prepare a response at the AAJ's direction, which usually consists of an AC order addressing the points raised by the ALJ and providing additional, clear instructions on how to definitively resolve the issues in the case.
After the AC approves a response, the file must be returned to the support staff to:
Release the response to the ALJ (with the file if, after further consideration, the AC again is issuing a remand).
Release a copy of the response and of the ALJ's request to the Office of the Chief ALJ for informational purposes.
Release a copy of the response to the Office of the Executive Director, OAO, for control purposes.
Enter ACAPS, LOTS or OHA CCS data into the system.
Release a copy of the response to the claimant and to the representative.
If a copy of the ALJ's memorandum was not sent to the claimant or representative, the analyst must attach a copy of the ALJ's request to the claimant's and representative's copies of the AC's response.
The AC must respond as soon as possible, but always within 20 working days after it receives the ALJ's request and the CF or CAR.