I-3-9-60.Requests for Extensions of Time to File Civil Action
Last Update: 7/23/14 (Transmittal I-3-74)
Under section 205(g) of the Social Security Act, the Commissioner may extend the amount of time provided to file a civil action. Per agency regulations, the request for an extension of time (EOT) to file a civil action must be in writing and must provide good cause for why the deadline was not (or cannot) be met. See 20 CFR 404.982, 405.505, and 416.1482.
If a claimant or representative, if any, orally requests an EOT, Office of Appellate Operations (OAO) staff must inform the claimant or representative that the request must be submitted in writing and that a good cause reason for the request must be included in the writing. OAO staff will then prepare a form SSA-5002, Report of Contact, to document the conversation and associate the form with the claim(s) file.
A claimant or representative, if any, must specifically request an EOT. The submission of additional evidence or general correspondence to the AC within or after the 60-day period to file a civil action does not constitute an EOT request. Rather, the AC will handle the additional information using the procedures in Hearings, Appeals and Litigation Law (HALLEX) manual I-3-5-50.
As explained below, approving an EOT requires evaluating good cause. Therefore, an AC member must always review and sign actions on EOT requests. See generally HALLEX I-3-9-40.
EOT requests must be processed as soon as possible after receipt. Processing EOTs in a timely manner saves resources for both the agency and the claimant, especially when the AC denies the request.
B. EOT Requests Submitted Before a Civil Action Is Filed
Generally, the Disability Program Branches in OAO will handle EOTs to file a civil action that are submitted before the claimant files a civil action.
If the claimant (or representative, if any) does not provide a good cause reason for requesting an EOT, the AC will deny the request. In evaluating whether there is a good cause reason, the AC uses the good cause standards in 20 CFR 404.911, 405.20, and 416.1411.
Any delay in the AC's response to an EOT request is not a factor the AC considers in determining whether good cause exists for not filing a civil action within the stated time period.
When an EOT is granted, the AC will generally provide up to 30 days from the date of the notice granting the EOT (or, if more appropriate, up to 30 days from the date of the civil action filing deadline) to file a civil action. However, the AC may grant more or less time depending on the circumstances of the individual case.
When the AC denies the request for an EOT, the AC will include in the notice a sufficient rationale explaining its finding that there is not a good cause reason to extend the time to file a civil action.
C. EOT Requests Filed After a Civil Action Is Filed
When an EOT is not submitted or received until after the claimant has filed a civil action, the EOT will be handled by a Court Case Preparation and Review Branch (CCPRB). The CCPRB will proceed using the same instructions in HALLEX I-3-9-60 B above.