I-1-10-5.Hearing Office Procedures When a Prior Application Is Pending at the Appeals Council (AC)

Last Update: 8/26/13 (Transmittal I-1-67)

A. General

As described in HALLEX I-1-10-1 B, Social Security Ruling (SSR) 11-1p: Titles II and XVI: Procedures for Handling Requests to File Subsequent Applications for Disability Benefits does not preclude all subsequent applications. Therefore, there will be circumstances when the hearing office (HO) will receive subsequent applications when a prior claim is pending before the AC.

Consistent with the practice prior to implementation of SSR 11-1p (effective July 28, 2011), if the claimant files a request for hearing on a subsequent application, the HO will not schedule a hearing and the administrative law judge (ALJ) will not issue a decision on the subsequent application until the AC completes its action on the request for review on the prior claim.

If the prior claim is pending judicial review, HO staff will follow the procedures in HALLEX I-2-8-16.

B. Initial Case Screening and Preparation

1. Identifying Subsequent Applications

As part of initial case screening and preparation in HALLEX I-2-0-10, HO staff will review the Case Processing and Management System (CPMS) to verify whether a request for review is pending at the AC.

2. Establishing Case Controls

If there is a prior claim pending at the AC, the subsequent application must remain pending in Master Docket (MDKT) status until the AC has acted on the prior claim. HO staff will follow the established guidelines for case receipt in HALLEX I-2-0-1 B, with the following additions:

  • Add the Subsequent Application Case Characteristic “SBAP” in CPMS, and

  • Leave the ALJ unassigned in CPMS.

Once CPMS shows the AC has acted on the claim, the HO may proceed with appropriate action on the subsequent application, per the instructions in HALLEX I-1-10-10 and any other applicable HALLEX provisions.

3. Acknowledging the Request for Hearing in Subsequent Applications

When acknowledging a request for hearing on a subsequent application (i.e., the prior application is still pending at the AC level), HO staff will follow established guidelines for sending an acknowledgement letter to the claimant/representative in HALLEX I-2-0-20. However, HO staff will use one of the following templates in the Document Generation System:

  • Request for Hearing - Acknowledgement Letter 1D 2D; or

  • Request for Hearing - Master Docket Batch for Acknowledgement Letter 1D 2D.

These templates automatically generate language on subsequent applications when CPMS recognizes both the prior and subsequent applications. If CPMS does not recognize both applications, HO staff will use the “Request for Hearing - Acknowledgement Letter 1D 2D” template, and manually select “Prior Application Pending at Appeals Council.”

4. Erroneously Processed Subsequent Applications After July 28, 2011

When a subsequent application was erroneously received and processed through the hearing level after implementation of SSR 11-1p, the claim will continue through the administrative process. The HO will not schedule a hearing and/or issue a decision until the AC acts on the prior claim, as explained in the procedures in 1-3 above.