I-3-0-20.Quality Assurance Reviews

Last Update: 1/30/15 (Transmittal I-3-96)

A. Division of Quality Review - In General

The Office of Appellate Operations (OAO) re-established a quality review process in 2010, designated as the Division of Quality Review. The Division of Quality Review assesses quality by performing:

  • Pre-effectuation reviews of hearing level decisions; and

  • Post-effectuation focused reviews.

B. Pre-Effectuation Reviews

Under the authority in 20 CFR 404.969 and 416.1469, the Appeals Council may initiate review of a case on its own motion within 60 days after the date of a hearing level decision or order of dismissal. For detailed instructions on the Appeals Council's own motion procedures, see Hearings, Appeals and Litigation Law manual I-3-6.

C. Post-Effectuation Focused Reviews

At the direction of Social Security Administration (SSA) executives, OAO's Division of Quality Review may perform focused reviews of specific subjects, including but not limited to hearing offices, individuals, subject matters, policies, or procedures. SSA executives may select potential subjects for specific focused reviews from:

  • Data collected in agency systems;

  • Findings from pre-effectuation reviews; and

  • Internal and external sources.