I-3-1-30.Requests to Escalate a Claim to the Appeals Council
Last Update: 1/13/16 (Transmittal I-3-128)
In some cases, a claimant may have a claim pending before the Appeals Council (AC) and a different claim pending at another administrative level. Occasionally, the AC will receive a request from another component to escalate and consolidate the two claims when they appear to involve a common issue (as defined in Program Operations Manual System (POMS) DI 12045.010). Because a claimant has a right to a hearing on his or her claim, the AC generally cannot accept escalated claims and will reject these requests, even when it appears the claims involve a common issue.
When adjudicating the claim before it, the AC will handle the subsequent application by using its usual procedures, as set forth in Hearings, Appeals and Litigation Law (HALLEX) manual I-1-10.
In the unusual circumstance the claimant submits the request to escalate and consolidate claims at the AC level, the receiving branch will consult with the Executive Director's Office. Generally, escalating and consolidating at the request of a claimant would require that the AC obtain a written waiver of the right to a hearing (ensuring the record documents that the claimant was fully informed of the effects of waiving that right), or that the AC conduct a hearing under the authority in 20 CFR 404.956 or 416.1456.
Similarly, the AC occasionally receives requests that it only review one title of a partially favorable concurrent decision. As explained in HALLEX I-3-4-3 A NOTE 1 and POMS DI 51501.001G, the AC considers the entire administrative law judge decision on review, not just the portions with which a claimant disagrees.