Last Update: 9/08/05 (Transmittal I-3-36)
When the Post Office returns a claimant's notice of denial of request for review as undeliverable (e.g., the claimant moved and left no forwarding address), mailroom personnel will send the returned correspondence to the OAO branch. The branch support staff will:
telephone the claimant's representative, if any, or send a brief memorandum to the field office servicing the claimant's last known address, to obtain the new address;
prepare a currently dated cover letter when the new address is known, which transmits the original notice of denial. The cover letter informs the claimant that the attached Appeals Council notice was returned by the Post Office as undeliverable and that the time period for appeal begins with the receipt of the cover letter;
re-send the notice of denial, using the new cover letter, following the usual procedures; and
file the original undelivered envelope and photocopies of the cover letter and the original notice of denial in the claim file.
If all attempts to obtain the claimant's new address are unsuccessful, file the original undelivered envelope and notice of denial in the claim file with documentation of all attempts to obtain the new address (e.g., copies of correspondence and reports of telephone contacts). These documents may be helpful in determining the action to take if the claimant later inquires about the case.
On occasion, the Post Office may return, as undeliverable, the representative's copy of a notice. In this event, send the representative's copy of the notice to the claimant with a cover letter explaining that the Post Office returned it as undeliverable.
After completing its action, the OAO branch will return the file to the mini-docket.