I-4-0-2.Functions and Responsibilities of the Office of Appellate Operations

Last Update: 9/13/05 (Transmittal I-4-15)

OAO is responsible for certain actions on cases in which a civil action has been filed. These actions include acting on new court cases, conducting supplemental reviews of pending court cases, acting on remand orders from the court, handling appeals on ALJ decisions issued following a court remand, and recommending whether to seek an appeal when a Federal court makes a decision adverse to the Commissioner.

OAO also provides professional and technical advice to the Associate Commissioner, the Appeals Council (AC), the Chief Administrative Law Judge and other Office of Hearings and Appeals (OHA) officials on civil action cases when requested.

In addition, OAO participates in formulating, implementing, and evaluating OHA's litigation management strategy. In consultation with the OHA's Office of Policy, Planning and Evaluation (OPPE) and other components of the Social Security Administration (e.g., the Office of the General Counsel (OGC)), OAO helps to develop interpretive instructions for imple­menting class action court orders and precedent setting court decisions. The OAO program branches also assist the Court Case Preparation and Review Branches (CCPRBs) in tracking and analyzing court case trends in order to:

  • Disseminate information to guide adjudicators with respect to case law.

  • Implement an effective appeals strategy.

  • Identify problem areas and make recommendations for corrective action.