II-5-1-5.Appeals Council Action Dismissing a Request for Hearing

Appeals Council Interpretation

SUBJECT : Appeals Council Action Dismissing a Request for Hearing
ISSUE : Will the Appeals Council dismiss a request for hearing for any reason an Administrative Law Judge (ALJ) could have dismissed such request?
DISCUSSION : The regulations at 20 CFR §§ 404.957 and 416.1457 provide that an ALJ may dismiss a request for hearing when any of several conditions are met. The Appeals Council has decided that it will continue to exercise its authority upon review to dismiss a request for hearing for any reason that an ALJ could have dismissed such request.
INTERPRETATION : The Appeals Council will ordinarily assume jurisdiction, vacate the hearing decision and dismiss the request for hearing when the ALJ issued a decision on the merits but the record shows that the ALJ should have dismissed the request for hearing. The Appeals Council also will ordinarily assume jurisdiction when the ALJ dismissed a request for hearing on an incorrect basis, but the Appeals Council concludes that dismissal on another basis is proper. In such instances, the Appeals Council will notify the claimant of its proposed action and take appropriate further action, including dismissing the request for hearing on the correct grounds or vacating the dismissal and remanding for further consideration.
APPLICATION : The Appeals Council will apply this interpretation in all cases that come before it involving the same issue.
EFFECTIVE DATE : October 17, 1990
CROSS-REFERENCE : 20 CFR §§ 404.957 and 416.1457; HALLEX I-2-4, I-3-3-1, I-3-3-9, and I-3-4-20.