I-3-4-6.Premature Request for Review

Last Update: 4/28/16 (Transmittal I-3-141)

A. General

If a claimant files a request for review when the hearing office has not completed its action in a case, the Appeals Council (AC) will find the request for review was prematurely filed. For example, a claimant prematurely files a request for review if the claimant has not yet submitted a request for hearing or a hearing decision has not yet been issued. Premature requests for review are usually easy to identify because a hearing level case will show as pending or will not exist in the hearing level Case Processing and Management System.

B. Electronic Claim(s) File

When a request for review is prematurely filed and the claim(s) file is electronic, the system will prevent Office of Appellate Operations (OAO) staff from entering the premature request for review into the Appeals Review Processing System (ARPS). Using the Document Generation System (DGS) COR 18 template, OAO staff will prepare a letter for the claimant and representative, if any, explaining:

  • The request for review was submitted prematurely (e.g., action on a request for hearing is not yet complete or the correct appeal is a request for reconsideration/hearing);

  • The AC cannot review the case until final action is taken on a request for hearing;

  • The request for review was submitted in error; and

  • The hearing office can provide a status on the request for hearing/The AC forwarded the request to another office for processing.

An OAO branch chief or his or her designee will sign the letter.

In addition to sending the letter to the claimant and appointed representative, if any, OAO staff will use the “Send to eFolder” button in DGS to associate a copy of the letter with the electronic claim(s) file. OAO staff will also upload a copy of the premature request for review to the claim(s) file and add a message in eView noting the request for review was premature.

C. Paper Claim(s) File

If the claim(s) file is paper, OAO staff will not enter the premature request for review into ARPS, even though the system will permit this action.

NOTE:

If a premature request for review is erroneously established in ARPS, in addition to preparing the letter described below, OAO will also need to clear the case in ARPS. To do so, OAO staff will add a remark in ARPS explaining that the request for review was premature and a COR 18 letter was sent to the claimant (and representative, if any). In addition to the actions noted below, the branch chief or his or her designee will then use the SPDI code to dismiss the case in ARPS.

Using the DGS COR 18 template, OAO staff will prepare a letter for the claimant and representative, if any, explaining:

  • The request for review was submitted prematurely (e.g., action on a request for hearing is not yet complete or the correct appeal is a request for reconsideration/hearing);

  • The AC cannot review the case until final action is taken on a request for hearing;

  • The request for review was submitted in error; and

  • The hearing office can provide a status on the request for hearing/The AC forwarded the request to another office for processing.

An OAO branch chief or his or her designee will sign the letter.

In addition to sending the letter to the claimant and appointed representative, if any, OAO staff will send, by mail or fax, a copy of the premature request for review and the letter to the component with jurisdiction over the claim(s). The receiving component will associate the premature request for review and the letter with the claim(s) file.