Last Update: 8/7/09 (Transmittal I-2-77)
If nothing in the claim file exists to indicate the reason for the late filing, send the claimant and the claimant's representative a letter requesting an explanation. Place a copy of the communication sent to the claimant in the claim file as an exhibit.
If the file is paper, ask the servicing field office (FO) to forward any pertinent information in its files, e.g., any letter or communication from the claimant, representative, or the claimant's family, a copy of any records containing information regarding pertinent contacts, etc. If the case is electronic, look in the electronic claims file for any new pertinent information that may have been entered by another office.
The administrative law judge (ALJ) may also elect to obtain the needed information at a hearing on the issue of good cause for untimely filing.
The ALJ should limit the issue at the hearing to whether or not good cause exists. If no good cause exists, then the request for hearing (RH) should be dismissed as the ALJ has no jurisdiction. (See I-2-4-15, Hearing Request Not Timely Filed.). Therefore, do not notice the hearing as a hearing on the disability issue. Otherwise, the claimant could be confused as to the nature of the hearing. If good cause is found by the ALJ, the case can then be returned to Master Docket for further processing.