Last Update: 8/15/05 (Transmittal I-2-60)
With each Notice of Hearing, send a Form HA-504 (Acknowledgment of Notice of Hearing) or the Spanish version, HA-504-SP.
To ensure that the acknowledgment form is routed to the proper ALJ when it is returned to the hearing office (HO), the HO staff should set forth the ALJ's name and address on each form.
If the acknowledgment form is not returned within 7 days, send a written Reminder to Return Acknowledgment Form) or telephone the claimant or representative (if any) and ask whether they plan to attend the hearing. To access the Reminder to Return Acknowledgement Form, access DGS. Go to “Notices” and then click on “Notice of Hearing Reminder.”
If the claimant or representative received the notice of hearing and plans to attend the scheduled hearing, ask them to return the HA-504 confirming their intentions.
If the claimant or representative received the notice of hearing and does not plan to attend the scheduled hearing, but would like to attend a hearing at another time, consider whether there is good cause to postpone the hearing.
If the ALJ finds good cause and postpones the hearing, send a new Notice of Hearing and Form HA-504. (See I-2-3-10 E., ALJ Finds Claimant Has “Good Cause” for Objecting To Time or Place Set for the Hearing.) To access letters to be used to find “good cause” to postpone or move the date and time of hearing, access DGS, click on “Prehearing” and then click on “PH-366-Good Cause Found” or “PH376 - Advisement of Postponement.”
If the ALJ does not find good cause to postpone the hearing, notify the claimant and representative that the hearing will be held as scheduled, and that failure to attend may result in a dismissal. Include in this notice an explanation of the ALJ's reasons for not finding good cause, and document the file (i.e., retain a copy of any written notice or prepare and retain a report of contact of any oral notice). (See I-2-4-25, Dismissal Due to Claimant's Failure to Appear.)
If the claimant or representative say that they did not receive the notice of hearing, verify the address and send a new notice by certified mail with return receipt requested. Also send all subsequent correspondence in the same manner. Retain the return receipt(s) in the administrative record.
We consider a notice to be “received” if either the claimant or the representative receives it.
If a claimant or representative do not receive a notice of hearing, and it is necessary to send a new notice, the “new” notice must be sent at least 20 days before the hearing, unless the claimant waives the right to 20-day notice. (See I-2-3-25, Waiver of Advance Notice of Hearing.) to the waiver of written notice form can be accessed through DGS by clicking on “Correspondence,” clicking on “Prehearing,” and then clicking on “Waive Written Notice,” or by clicking on “Notices” and then selecting “Waiver of Written Notice of Hearing.”
The certified mail and return receipt procedure may be appropriate where there is a high incidence of nonreceipt of mail in a specific locality. However, the Regional Chief ALJ must approve this procedure in advance.