§ 418.3625. What is the process for administrative review?

The process for administrative review of initial determinations is either a hearing conducted by telephone or a case review. We will provide you with a hearing by telephone when you appeal the initial determination made on your claim, unless you choose not to participate in a telephone hearing. If you choose not to participate in a telephone hearing, the review will consist of a case review. The hearing will be conducted by an individual who was not involved in making the initial determination. The individual who conducts the hearing will make the final decision after the hearing. If you are dissatisfied after we have made a final decision, you may file an action in Federal district court.

(a) Notice scheduling the telephone hearing. Once you request a telephone hearing, we will schedule the hearing and send you a notice of the date and time of the hearing at least 20 days before the hearing. The notice will contain a statement of the specific issues to be decided and tell you that you may designate a personal representative (as defined in 42 CFR 423.772) to represent you during the proceedings. The notice will explain the opportunity and procedure for reviewing your file and for submitting additional evidence prior to the hearing. It also will provide a brief explanation of the proceedings, of the right and process to subpoena witnesses and documents, of the procedures for requesting a change in the time or date of your hearing, and of the procedure for requesting interpreter services.

(b) Opportunity to review your file. Prior to the telephone hearing, you will be able to review the information that was used to make an initial determination in your case. You can provide us with additional information you wish to have considered at the hearing.

(c) Hearing waived, rescheduled, or missed. If you decide you do not want a hearing by telephone or if you are not available at the time of the scheduled hearing, the decision in your case will be made by a case review. This means that the decision will be based on the information in your file and any additional information you provide. You may ask for a change in the time and date of the telephone hearing; this should be done at the earliest possible opportunity prior to the hearing. Your request must state your reason(s) for needing the change in time or date and state the new time and date you want the hearing to be held. We will change the time and date, but not necessarily to your preferred time or date, of the telephone hearing if you have good cause. If you miss the scheduled hearing and the decision in your case is decided by a case review, we will provide a hearing, at your written request, if we decide you had good cause for missing the scheduled hearing. Examples of good cause include, but are not limited to, the following:

(1) You have attempted to obtain a representative but need additional time;

(2) Your representative was appointed within 30 days of the scheduled hearing and needs additional time to prepare for the hearing;

(3) Your representative has a prior commitment to be in court or at another administrative hearing on the date scheduled for your hearing;

(4) A witness who will testify to facts material to your case would be unavailable to participate in the scheduled hearing and the evidence cannot be obtained any other way;

(5) You are unrepresented, and you are unable to respond to the notice of hearing because of any physical, mental, educational, or linguistic limitations (including any lack of facility with the English language) that you may have; or

(6) You did not receive notice of the hearing appointment.

(d) Witnesses at hearing. When we determine that it is reasonably necessary for the full presentation of a case, we may issue a subpoena to compel the production of certain evidence or testimony.