Last Update: 9/08/05 (Transmittal I-3-36)
The regulations provide for an expedited appeals process (EAP) in a case when the following conditions are met:
the individual has received a determination or decision at the reconsideration level or higher;
there is no dispute with the Commissioner's findings of fact and application and interpretation of the controlling laws aside from a contention that a section of the applicable statute is unconstitutional; and
the individual pursues, as the sole remaining issue, a challenge to the constitutionality of a section of the pertinent statute which precludes favorable action on the claim.
Requests for EAP may be filed after a Request for Hearing is filed but before a hearing is held or hearing decision rendered. These requests are handled by the Office of the Chief Administrative Law Judge.
After the ALJ issues a hearing decision, there is no advantage in using the EAP because denial of a request for review would permit the claimant to file a civil action as quickly or more quickly than the EAP. However, if the EAP is requested after the issuance of a hearing decision, the request will be handled as follows:
Review the case carefully to ascertain whether the conditions for EAP are met. If so, treat the request as a request for review and draft a special denial letter using the following language:
On [date], you filed a request for the expedited appeals process under 20 CFR 404.923 ff. and 416.1423 ff. of the Social Security Administration Regulations. The remaining step in the administrative appeals process is consideration by the Appeals Council, after which you may commence a civil action. Action by the Council would be faster in your case than the expedited appeals process. Therefore, the Council is treating your request filed [date] as a request for review of the Administrative Law Judge's decision.
Conditions for Use of EAP Not Met
When the conditions for EAP are not met, the analyst will treat a request for EAP as a request for review and recommend action as appropriate. If denial is recommended, advise the claimant in the denial notice that the conditions for EAP are not met but that the claimant may file a civil action in any case. In other situations, the analyst may prepare a letter to the claimant denying the request for EAP and informing him or her that the request is being treated as a request for review or the analyst may include this information in the Appeals Council action document. Denial of the EAP is not appealable.