I-2-4-22.Claimant Requests Withdrawal of Application at Hearing Level
Last Update: 6/24/21 (Transmittal I-2-242)
A. In General
As provided in 20 CFR 404.640 and 416.355, a claimant may withdraw an application in certain circumstances, even after the agency makes a determination. These regulatory sections use the term “determination,” which is defined in 20 CFR 404.901 and 416.1401, as the initial determination or reconsideration determination. For detailed information about when a claimant can withdraw an application, see Program Operations Manual System (POMS) GN 00206.005.
The regulations do not provide authority to withdraw an application after an administrative law judge (ALJ) has issued a decision or order of dismissal. Further, withdrawal of an application after the issuance of a decision could create processing conflicts with Acquiescence Rulings that require the agency to adopt prior ALJ decisional findings. For similar reasons, a claimant may not withdraw an application after the Appeals Council or a Federal court has remanded a case. When a Federal court has remanded a case, refer to Hearings, Appeals and Litigation Law (HALLEX) manual I-2-4-37 and I-2-8-18, as applicable.
B. ALJ Has Not Acted Before Claimant Requests to Withdraw Application
1. Determine Whether Claimant Intends to Withdraw Application
If an ALJ has not acted on the claim(s) and a claimant submits a request to withdraw an application, Office of Hearings Operations (OHO) staff will evaluate whether the claimant may have intended to withdraw the request for hearing instead of the application. For example, a claimant may submit the request on a form SSA-521, “Request for Withdrawal of Application,” but state on the form that he or she wants to withdraw the request for hearing.
When it is unclear whether the claimant intends to withdraw the application or request for hearing, OHO staff will contact the claimant or appointed representative, if any, by telephone. On a form SSA-5002, “Report of Contact,” OHO staff will document the date and time of the contact and whether the claimant intends to withdraw the application or withdraw the request for hearing. OHO staff will associate the report of contact and any relevant documentation with the appropriate section of the claim(s) file.
If the claimant indicates he or she intends to withdraw the request for hearing, OHO staff will follow the instructions in HALLEX I-2-4-20.
If OHO staff is unable to obtain clarification regarding whether the claimant intends to withdraw the application or request for hearing, despite reasonable attempts to contact the claimant or any appointed representative, OHO staff will treat the unclear request as a request to withdraw the request for hearing.
2. Forward Request to Withdraw Application to Servicing Field Office
When the claimant intends to withdraw the application, OHO staff will inform the claimant and appointed representative, if any, of the following:
The request will be forwarded to the Field Office (FO) for processing;
The FO may contact the claimant to provide more information about the effect of a withdrawal of an application;
The claimant can immediately contact the FO if he or she wants information about the effect of withdrawing an application; and
Once the FO approves the request to withdraw the application, the ALJ will issue an order dismissing the request for hearing. (If the FO does not approve the request to withdraw the application, see subsection B.3. below.)
After notifying the claimant and appointed representative, if any, OHO staff will:
Ensure a copy of the Request for Withdrawal of Application is in the claim(s) file;
Prepare a transmittal sheet identifying an OHO staff point of contact and referencing HALLEX I-2-4-22 and POMS GN 00206.011 (title II), GN 00206.014 (title II), or SI 00601.050 (title XVI), as applicable;
Refer the request to withdraw the application to the appropriate FO by sending an electronic assistance request in eView and adding a remark in the Case Processing and Management System (CPMS); and
Place the case in PRE (pre-hearing development) status in CPMS.
The FO will take any appropriate action on the request to withdraw the application and notify the OHO staff point of contact, or his or her designee, of its action.
3. Dismiss the Request for Hearing
If the FO approves the request to withdraw the application, OHO management will route the request to an ALJ to dismiss the request for hearing. The ALJ will dismiss the request for hearing following the procedures set forth in HALLEX I-2-4-20. Additionally, in the order of dismissal, the ALJ will address the request to withdraw the application. OHO staff will use the WDDI (withdrawal dismissal) code to dismiss the case in CPMS. If the claim(s) file is paper, OHO staff will route the case to the Social Security Administration's National Records Center, as described in HALLEX I-2-1-10 C.
>If the FO does not approve the request to withdraw the application, OHO staff will consult with OHO management regarding next steps. The appropriate course of action will be case dependent.
C. ALJ Issued a Decision or Dismissal Before the Claimant Requests to Withdraw Application
If an ALJ has already issued a decision or order of dismissal, an ALJ will not accept a request to withdraw the application. Rather, if a claimant submits a request to withdraw the application after an ALJ issues a decision or order of dismissal, the ALJ will respond in writing to the claimant and any appointed representative, explaining:
The ALJ has already taken action on the matter;
The ALJ will take no further action; and
If the claimant disagrees with the ALJ's action, he or she may appeal the matter as explained in the notice attached to the decision or order of dismissal.
The ALJ will associate a copy of the writing with the claim(s) file.
D. Cancellation of a Request to Withdraw Application
A claimant may submit a written request to cancel the request to withdraw the application within 60 days of the date the request was approved. See 20 CFR 404.641 and 416.360. The FO develops these requests. If the claimant submits the request to OHO, OHO staff will notify the claimant that the request will be redirected to the FO. For detailed information about FO and processing center (PC) procedures when cancelling a request to withdraw the application, see POMS GN 00206.017.
The appropriate FO or PC that determines that the claimant satisfied the regulatory requirements for cancelling a request to withdraw an application will add all documents into the claim(s) file and notify OHO staff that the application has been reinstated, and the ALJ will vacate the order of dismissal. The ALJ will not evaluate timeliness or make a good cause determination.
The Document Generation System (DGS) does not include a template for vacating an order of dismissal. To prepare a vacate order, the user will select the “Blank Order” in the DGS Findings Integrated Templates Dismissal template. In the order, the ALJ will explain why the request for hearing was reinstated.