I-4-1-42.Expedited Appeals Process
Last Update: 7/3/14 (Transmittal I-4-30)
Under 20 CFR 404.923-928 and 416.1423-1428, an individual may seek judicial review without completing the administrative review process under certain circumstances. A party to a determination or decision may submit a written challenge of the Social Security Act at any point after an initial determination is issued, asserting that the only factor preventing a favorable determination or decision is a provision in the law that is unconstitutional.
The request can be filed at any Social Security office or other location noted in 20 CFR 404.925(b) and 416.1425(b) and must be filed within the timeframes set forth in 20 CFR 404.925(a) and 416.1425(a). The Office of the General Counsel (OGC) is the agency's component designated to review challenges to the Social Security Act.
If OGC agrees a favorable determination or decision would otherwise be warranted, OGC will issue a written agreement, as explained in 20 CFR 404.926 and 416.1426. Although the document is not valid unless both parties sign the agreement, the date of the agreement is the date the agency signs the agreement.
If the requirements for the expedited appeals process are not met, the agency will deny the request and consider it a request for hearing or a request for Appeals Council review (whichever is more appropriate).
B. Expedited Appeals Process Procedures
1. Verify Civil Action Filing is Timely
The party to a determination or decision may file a civil action in Federal court within 60 days after the date he or she receives notice that the written agreement has been signed by the agency (see Hearings, Appeals and Litigation Law (HALLEX) manual I-4-1-42 A above). Otherwise, staff uses the same general processing instructions in HALLEX I-4-1-2 C.
If the complaint is timely filed, Office of Appellate Operations (OAO) staff will give the file to a court records assistant (CRA) to prepare the certified administrative record (CAR) using the instructions below and the applicable instructions in HALLEX I-4-1-50.
If the complaint is not timely filed, OAO staff will give the file to a Court Case Preparation and Review Branch analyst to process under HALLEX I-4-1-31.
2. Special CAR Requirements When Expedited Appeals Process Applies
The certification will vary from the usual template depending on the level at which the case was expedited and the contents in the record.
The CRA will prepare an index listing all documents associated with the CAR.
If the transmittal letter that accompanies the agreement letter has the same date as the signed agreement letter, only one entry is needed on the index for both documents.
c. Procedural documents
The CRA will include all procedural documents in the CAR.
For paper files, the CRA will include the application as the first procedural document if the claim(s) is expedited before it reaches the hearing level. If a paper claim(s) is expedited at the hearing or Appeals Council levels, the CRA will include the request for hearing or request for review as the first procedural document. The CRA will place the remaining procedural documents in the CAR in reverse chronological order (as described on the index), including the request for the expedited appeals process.
d. Evidentiary Documents and Exhibits
When the claim(s) did not proceed to the hearing level, the CRA will consult with the branch chief regarding the documents to include in the CAR.
Additionally, if the claim(s) file is paper, the CRA will place all relevant evidence in reverse chronological order and describe the evidence in the index. (If there is a hearing decision and exhibit list, the construction of the record is similar to that of routine new court cases.)