I-2-3-40.Requests for Case Status
Last Update: 9/23/16 (Transmittal I-2-189)
If a claimant requests the status of his or her case, hearing office (HO) staff will respond to the immediate inquiry, either verbally or in a writing sent to the claimant's address, after taking sufficient steps to verify that the person inquiring is the claimant. For information about releasing information by telephone, see Program Operations Manual System (POMS) GN 03360.005.
If the claimant has an appointed representative, HO staff will generally redirect the claimant to the appointed representative to obtain future status updates. This practice reduces the likelihood of miscommunication.
B. Appointed Representative
When requested, HO staff will provide a status update to the representative, either verbally or in a writing sent to the representative's address, after taking sufficient steps to verify that the person inquiring is the appointed representative. For information about releasing information by telephone, see POMS GN 03360.005.
However, the majority of appointed representatives can obtain the status of a case electronically through the Appointed Representative Services (ARS) system. (To do so, the representative must be designated as the representative in the Case Processing and Management System.) For general information about ARS, see Hearings, Appeals and Litigation Law (HALLEX) manual I-5-1-22 II. Except when there is a legitimate reason for the inquiry (e.g., ARS technical difficulties or the case is not accessible through ARS), HO staff will generally respond to the immediate inquiry but direct a representative with ARS access (who is also designated in the Case Processing Management System as the representative) to obtain future status updates through ARS.
C. Congressional Staff
See HALLEX I-1-6-1 for instructions on handling status inquiries from members of Congress.
D. Government Official, Agency, or Media
HO staff will consult with the Hearing Office Director (HOD) to determine how to handle inquiries from:
The White House, the Office of the Vice President, or Cabinet members;
State governors and legislators;
The Federal Bureau of Investigation or other Federal law enforcement agencies when fraud or other criminal acts are alleged or implied; or
After determining a proposed preliminary course of action, HODs will consult with Regional Office (RO) management before taking any action or providing any response.
E. Other Inquiries
Generally, third parties are not entitled to any information about a case, even when the information requested is not considered personally identifiable information. Therefore, HO staff will not release any information to a third party unless the claimant has specifically authorized, in writing, release of the information to the third party.
Even when such disclosure is authorized, HO staff will disclose only the minimal information necessary to respond to the inquiry.