I-3-6-5.Own-Motion Review on Appeals Council's Initiative
Last Update: 9/27/22 (Transmittal I-3-191)
A. Analyst Actions
An Office of Appellate Operations (OAO) analyst will review the evidence of record and the decision or dismissal, audit the hearing recording (as needed), and recommend to the Appeals Council (AC) whether it should take own-motion review. The circumstances in which the AC will take own-motion review are set forth in Hearings, Appeals, and Litigation Law (HALLEX) manual I-3-6-1.
If the AC is considering taking own-motion review at the request of an effectuating component, see the instructions in HALLEX I-3-6-10.
The analyst will complete a case analysis in the Appeals Review Processing System (ARPS) and prepare the appropriate action document described in HALLEX I-3-6-20.
Because the AC must take own-motion review within 60 days after a hearing level decision (see HALLEX I-3-6-1), the analyst must process and route the case to an adjudicator in a timely manner.
B. AC Actions
The approval of two administrative appeals judges (AAJ) is required for the AC to take own-motion review on any case. When an analyst recommends own-motion review, the AAJ designated as the A member adjudicator will review the recommendation and any associated document(s). The A member may return the case to the analyst for further analysis or revision. If the A member agrees with the recommendation and accompanying documentation, the A member will forward the case to the B member for consideration. If both adjudicators agree with the action, they will sign the associated action document and staff will release it. If the AC issues a separate notice of review prior to its final action, OAO staff will establish a 35-day diary for receipt of a response.
If the AC is taking own-motion review to issue a fully favorable decision, remand the case for further proceedings, or issue a decision that is favorable in part and remanded in part, a separate notice of review is not required and the AC's decision or remand order may serve as notice of review to all parties (see 20 CFR 404.973 and 416.1473). When the AC initiates own-motion review and remands the case for a new hearing, the claimant's rights to a hearing under Goldberg v. Kelly, 397 U.S. 254 (1970), and to review additional materials and evidence, will be satisfied as part of the new hearing before the Administrative Law Judge.
When an analyst does not recommend own-motion review, the analyst will forward the recommendation to effectuate the hearing decision to an appeals officer (AO) or AAJ, as appropriate. If the adjudicator agrees with the recommendation, OAO staff will forward the case to the effectuating component (i.e., processing centers for title II claims and field offices for title XVI claims) for processing. If the case involves a partially or fully favorable hearing decision, closing the ARPS record will automatically forward the case for effectuation of the hearing decision. If, on review, an AO disagrees with an analyst's recommendation and finds own-motion review may be appropriate, the AO will refer the case to an AAJ for further consideration.