Last Update: 9/08/05 (Transmittal I-3-36)
Examine the file to verify that the request for review was filed timely. See I-3-0-60 B.
If the request for review was not filed timely, determine whether the file contains an explanation for the late filing.
If an explanation is not in the file, refer to I-3-4-2 for development required.
When an explanation is in the file, determine whether it may establish good cause for missing the deadline, using the standards set forth at 20 CFR 404.911 and 416.1411 (See also, Social Security Rulings 91-5p and 95-1p). If it appears that good cause is established, and the request for review is proper in all other respects, consider the merits of the case and prepare an analysis (including a recommendation that good cause be found) for the Appeals Council. If it appears that good cause has not been established, prepare a recommendation to dismiss the request for review and a dismissal order for the Appeals Council's consideration. See I-3-4.
Examine the file to determine whether the request for review was filed by a proper party. See I-3-4-5 B.1.
Examine the file to determine whether it is complete. Determine whether:
The recording(s) is in the file when an oral hearing was held. If one or more supplemental hearings were held, the recording of each proceeding must be in the file.
Both files are present in a concurrent case.
Requests for extensions of time, duplicate recordings or exhibits have been acted upon.
Form SSA-1696 (Appointment of Representative) is in the file, when the claimant is represented (see I-1-1-10).
Determine whether procedural requirements were correctly followed at the hearing level.
The notice of hearing was mailed at least 20 days before the hearing.
The notice of hearing stated all of the specific issues to be decided.
When the Administrative Law Judge (ALJ) did not conduct an oral hearing and issued a less than fully favorable decision, the file must contain documentation of the claimant's waiver of the right to appear (See 20 CFR 404.950(b) and 416.1450(b), Social Security Ruling 79-19 and I-2-1-45F.)
The ALJ afforded the claimant proper notice of the right to present evidence or review post-hearing evidence.
See I-3-1-25 if the claimant alleges an unfair hearing.