I-4-2-30.Certification of the Administrative Record

Last Update: 6/26/23 (Transmittal I-4-93)

A. General

A Court Case Preparation and Review Branch (CCPRB) branch chief must certify the administrative record prior to release. The court legal assistant is responsible for determining and completing the appropriate certification of the record. After the court legal assistant assembles, properly indexes, and assigns numbers to the record and enters the necessary information on the appropriate certification form, the court legal assistant generates the completed certification page affixed with the branch chief's signature.

B. Certification Guidelines

1. General

The certification heading shows the district, division (if appropriate), claimant, and civil action number as docketed and shown on the complaint. The defendant will always be the current or acting Commissioner of Social Security. The standard certification should be used on all complete new court case records.


If the claimant's name is misspelled on the complaint, spell it correctly on the certification.

2. Substitute Parties

If a substitute party (one who could be entitled to benefits under 20 CFR 404.503, such as a widow, an executor of the estate, or someone filing or acting on behalf of a claimant) files the court action, the certification heading must show the name of the plaintiff as it appears on the court docket. However, the index heading associated with the record shows the name of the claimant.

3. Reconstructed Records

When the court legal assistant prepares an administrative record from a reconstructed file, the court legal assistant must modify the certification to read, “… full and accurate transcript of the reconstructed record of proceedings ….”

4. Incomplete Records

If a record is not complete, it is not a “full and accurate” record of the proceedings relating to the litigated claim. When the record is incomplete, the court legal assistant must modify the certification and footnote any missing materials on the index to the record as well as in the record where the missing document or other material would have appeared. Such deficiencies may include:

  • missing exhibits pertaining to the current claim;

  • missing transcript(s) of oral hearing(s);

  • missing translation(s); and

  • “inaudible portions” noted in the transcript of oral hearing that are significant in length or are the result of equipment malfunction.

The court legal assistant must consult with the branch chief to determine whether the preparation of a record should be delayed to obtain a missing item. If the missing item is not pertinent to the litigated claim, the record is certified as “full and accurate.” However, for paper cases only, the record is footnoted when the missing item is mentioned as follows: “Not pertinent to title II (or title XVI).” The court legal assistant will not place a footnoted item in the index.

5. Supplemental Records

The court legal assistant must prepare a new certification for any supplemental record prepared to correct a deficiency in the original record. The examples provided in Hearings, Appeals and Litigation Law manual I-4-2-40 E do not cover all of the situations that the court legal assistant may encounter in preparing certifications for supplemental records. If the court legal assistant encounters any situation that deviates from the examples, the court legal assistant must submit the case to the technical assistant or branch chief for approval.

6. A Limited Certified Administrative Record

The court legal assistant must prepare a certification page for any limited certified administrative record prepared. The court legal assistant will modify the language to state that the documents “constitute a full and accurate transcript of the proceedings relating to the dismissal in this case.”