Subject: Administrative Law Judge Decisions
This transmittal clarifies and updates the procedures relating to administrative law judge decisions contained in HALLEX Chapter I-2-8. These changes eliminate outdated references to the Black Lung Benefits program. The updates also reflect changes in the Code of Federal Regulations (CFR), and include hyperlinks to other relevant sections of the Act, the CFR, and to cross-references within the HALLEX.
I-2-8-1 is revised to remove references to the Black Lung Benefits program, and to include policy changes for those states designated as prototype states.
I-2-8-3 and I-2-8-5 now have references to the CFR and other minor edits.
I-2-8-6 is new and incorporates information contained in Temporary Instructions I-5-3-1 and I-5-3-4 which will be obsoleted.
I-2-8-10 reflects current OHA policy that sentence four court remands may be dismissed.
I-2-8-12 is being deleted as obsolete.
I-2-8-13 adds references to bench decisions, where claimants and their representatives may submit checksheets.
I-2-8-16 is revised to remove a NOTE regarding recommended decisions which was duplicative of a NOTE in I-2-8-15.
I-2-8-18 is revised to clarify the Appeals Council's and the ALJ's roles in hearing cases remanded by the courts. It also updates the procedure for ROs to track time-sensitive cases, updates the release procedures for partially and fully favorable decisions, and contains other minor updates throughout.
I-2-8-25.C. is updated to include instructions for decision writing when drug and alcohol abuse is an issue. Instructions when there is an OIG Report of Investigation have also been added.
I-2-8-35 is updated to include relevant statutory and regulatory citations.
I-2-8-40 is updated to clarify policy on administrative law judges who hold a hearing but are unable to issue a decision.
I-2-8-43 is new and discusses the Automated Verification Input Database (AVID).
I-2-8-45 is updated to reflect the replacement of HOTS with CPMS. Because all cases now pay Title XVI benefits before Title II, the NOTE specific to Mazza cases in the 3d Circuit has been removed as superfluous.
I-2-8-50 has been revised and updated to provide current procedures for handling hearing cassettes and CDs.
I-2-8-55 is updated to provide procedures to locate claimants whose decisions have been returned as undeliverable.
I-2-8-92 and I-2-8-93 have been deleted, because the language of decisional notices is now based in DGS.
I-2-8-95 renames and updates the Cassette Handling Desk Guide to include the use of CDs as part of the Digital Recording Acquisition Project (DRAP).
I-2-8-96 has been revised and updated to reflect current procedures for handling hearing cassettes and CDs.
I-2-8-97 will now only apply to Sentence Six court remands.
I-2-8-98 is updated to reflect current language in information provided to claimants and representatives who want to submit proposed language and/or (in the case of bench decisions) checksheets.
I-2-8-99 Exhibit through I-2-8-104 Exhibit are new. This material was incorporated from Temporary Instruction I-5-3-1 and I-5-3-4.
Date: September 2, 2005