I-1-7-12.Processing and Adjudication

Last Update: 9/14/05 (Transmittal I-1-56)

A. General

The DDS or OHA will follow the requirements of the court order or settlement agreement, as explained in the POMS instructions or TI developed for implementation. If not specifically addressed by the court order or settlement agreement, or the implementing instructions, OHA adjudicators will follow all current practices with respect to scheduling, routing, developing evidence, coding, etc.

B. Court Remands of Named and Unnamed Class Member Claims

The appropriate OAO CCPRB is responsible for processing any court remands of named class member claims. Before taking any action, CCPRB staff will consult with the OHA component with lead responsibility of the class action to ensure that a remand is ready for processing, e.g., that a class action court order is not being appealed or that no special problems exist. The CCPRB will not delay action on the remand awaiting publication of HALLEX instructions. However, if instructions are not in place, CCPRB staff will attach a copy of the applicable class action court order to the remand.

In all cases involving court remands of named class members, the CCPRB will send a recommendation to the Appeals Council that explains the basis for the recommendation by referring to the terms of the class action or settlement court order. The “fast track” procedure will not be used. However, an exception to Appeals Council consideration may be necessary if there are large numbers of named plaintiffs. The CCPRB Branch Chief will consult with the Executive Director of OAO before making any exception.

Courts may sometimes remand large numbers of claims for individuals who appear to be unnamed class members, for the Commissioner to provide relief consistent with a class action order or settlement agreement. Unless the Commissioner has stipulated to class relief prior to remand, the CCPRB must first screen such cases for entitlement to class membership. The CCPRB will proceed pursuant to discussion with the Office of Program Law in OGC on a case-by-case basis.

If a claimant is a class member entitled to relief and HALLEX instructions are not yet in place, the CCPRB will consult with the OHA component with lead responsibility for the class action concerning processing instructions.