I-1-2-62.Fee Petition Administrative Review Requested — Initial Procedures

Last Update: 5/8/20 (Transmittal I-1-96)

A. Begin Processing - Initial Support Staff Actions

When the request for administrative review is received, the Office of Hearing Operations (OHO) or the Office of Appellate Operations (OAO) staff will:

  1. date stamp the request;

  2. as necessary, provide the reviewing official with the following:

    • copy of the decision,

    • copy of the exhibit list,

    • copy of the cassette envelope,

    • copy of the notice of award or other benefit information,

    • fee petition,

    • fee authorization, and

    • any other documents or information that might be helpful in performing the administrative review; and

  3. forward the request and relevant documents to the reviewing official, if necessary; and notify the processing center (PC) responsible for releasing the fee if the representative has requested direct payment (see Hearings, Appeals and Litigation Law (HALLEX) manual I-1-2-96 for PC email addresses). This may prevent release of the representative payment and excess withholding if it has not already occurred.

B. Conduct Administrative Review - Reviewing Official's Actions

The Regional Chief, Deputy Chief or Chief Administrative Law Judge, or the Chair of the Appeals Council, as appropriate, will follow these steps in conducting an administrative review:

  1. Determine if:

    • the inquiry is a request for administrative review under the fee petition process;

    • the request was filed by a proper party (see HALLEX I-1-2-63 A);

    • the request was filed within 30 days after the date of the notice of the original fee authorization or the requester has established good cause for not filing the request timely (see 20 CFR 404.1720(d) and 416.1520(d) for guidance on evaluating good cause);

    • the request includes other issues, and if so, who has jurisdiction to process the request; and

    • the requester sent a copy of the review request to the other parties. If not, send them a copy.

  2. Acknowledge receipt of the request for administrative review, and notify all other parties of the request. Allow 15 days for parties to submit written information responding to the request (see HALLEX I-1-2-64 for guidance on sending the acknowledgment letter).

  3. If the request was filed timely (or good cause for late filing is established) by a proper party, review the determination of the fee amount initially authorized, and determine whether it was a reasonable fee for the services provided the claimant, based on the factors outlined in HALLEX I-1-2-57. The reviewing official will either increase, decrease or affirm the fee initially authorized.

  4. Issue notice of determination of administrative review (see HALLEX I-1-2-65 for information on the determination notice).