Last Update: 7/22/05 (Transmittal I-2-59)
When a request for hearing (RH) is received in the Hearing Office (HO), the HO staff determines whether it was timely filed. (See I-2-0-50, Timely Request for Hearing — Filing Requirements.)
If an HO receives an untimely filed RH, an ALJ must determine whether the claimant had “good cause” for the untimely filing. (See I-2-0-60, Good Cause for Late Filing, and I-2-4-10.B., Vacating an Order of Dismissal — Determining Good Cause to Vacate an Order of Dismissal.)
If the ALJ determines that the claimant had good cause, the case will then proceed to workup. The ALJ will proceed with the actions necessary to complete the record and issue a decision.
If the ALJ finds that there is insufficient evidence or information to determine whether the claimant had good cause for untimely filing (e.g., the Field Office (FO) did not develop good cause), the ALJ may develop the necessary evidence or information to make a determination (See I-2-0-60 C., Development Procedures for Determining Good Cause.) or elect to obtain evidence on the issue of “good cause” for untimely filing at a hearing. All documents used to make the good cause determination should be incorporated into the claim file as exhibits to document the date the request was mailed. This documentation includes retaining the envelope used by the claimant or his/her representative to mail the RH to Social Security, if it is available.
If the ALJ decides that the claimant did not have good cause, the ALJ must dismiss the RH. In dismissing the request for hearing, the ALJ or a staff member should:
use DGS to produce the order, selecting the Untimely Request option from the Dismissal menu; and
include in the dismissal order a complete rationale explaining why the ALJ has found that the claimant has not shown good cause. See 20 CFR §§ 404.911, 416.1411, and SSR 91-5p for factors related to good cause.