I-1-5-2.Litigation Holds

Last Update: 11/20/14 (Transmittal I-1-77)

A. General

Electronic and paper claim(s) files, as well as other documents in the Office of Hearings Operations (OHO) or Office of Analytics, Review, and Oversight (OARO), are subject to records retention and disposition schedules. See Social Security Administration Records Schedules. However, when a civil complaint is filed against the agency that involves a claim(s) file or documents in OHO's or OARO's possession, the Office of the General Counsel (OGC) will issue a litigation hold that suspends normal retention rules and prevents specified documents from being destroyed until completion of all legal action.

B. Notification and Processing

OGC will directly notify a specific OHO or OARO component of a litigation hold if the hold only affects that component. In some circumstances, OGC will directly notify the custodians of the records, rather than a component, based on knowledge OGC has or receives about sources that may have information relevant to a case.

If the litigation hold affects multiple OHO or OARO components, OGC will notify OHO's and/or OARO's Office(s) of the Deputy Commissioner (ODC), as appropriate, and the ODC(s) will notify affected components. OHO and OARO components will inform impacted staff of a litigation hold and provide instructions for processing the hold. At the completion of all legal action, OGC will notify OHO and/or OARO to resume the normal records retention and disposition schedules.