I-3-1-3.Hearing Office Re-Activates Case Before Request for Review Processed
Last Update: 4/20/15 (Transmittal I-3-107)
In some cases, the claimant may request review from the Appeals Council, but the hearing office re-activates the hearing level case before Office of Appellate Operations (OAO) staff establishes the request for review in the Appeals Review Processing System (ARPS). This situation usually occurs when an administrative law judge (ALJ) wants to amend his or her prior action in favor of the claimant and the ALJ is unaware of the request for review.
Even though a hearing level case has already been re-activated in the hearing level system, the Appeals Council must respond to the request for review. However, because a hearing level case has been re-activated, establishing a case in ARPS would require that OAO convert an electronic claim(s) file to a paper claim(s) file. To avoid this, OAO staff will not establish a case in ARPS when responding to the request for review. Rather, OAO staff will prepare correspondence that gives notice to the claimant and appointed representative (if any) that the Appeals Council is not acting on the request for review. The letter will explain the particular circumstances involved in the case and clearly state that the Appeals Council is not acting on the request for review because the ALJ is reconsidering his or her prior action. OAO staff will ensure that a copy of the request for review and the Appeals Council's correspondence are associated with the claim(s) file.
If OAO staff notices that a hearing office is regularly re-activating a case rather than following the procedures outlined in Hearings, Appeals and Litigation Law manual I-2-4-11, he or she will notify the branch chief. If appropriate, the branch chief will ask the Executive Director's Office to provide feedback to the hearing operation by sending an email to ^DCARO ARPS Support.