I-4-8-55.Processing Cases in Which Claimant Asks to Withdraw When Claim Is Before the Appeals Council or the Administrative Law Judge Issued a Dismissal or a Recommended Dismissal
Last Update: 1/11/17 (Transmittal I-4-60)
When a court remands a case to the Commissioner under sentence four, the court remand includes a judgment that terminates the civil action. This places the case back within the administrative review process and the procedures provided for in the Commissioner's regulations apply. The regulations at 20 CFR 404.983 and 416.1483 provide that if the Appeals Council (AC) remands the case, the procedures explained in 20 CFR 404.977 and 416.1477 will be followed. In turn, cases remanded to an Administrative Law Judge (ALJ) are handled under the procedures in 20 CFR 404.944 and 416.1444. Because the case is now handled under the same regulatory scheme as an initial request for hearing, the provisions of 20 CFR 404.957 and 416.1457 (Dismissal of a Request for Hearing before an Administrative Law Judge) are available (consistent with the terms of the particular court order) to the same extent as in an initial claim.
When a court remands a case to the Commissioner under sentence six, the court remand does not include a judgment and, therefore, the court retains continuing jurisdiction over the case. Here, the language in sentence six that “the Commissioner ... shall ... modify or affirm the Commissioner's findings of fact or the Commissioner's decision, or both ... ” controls. This means that the policy prohibiting dismissal will continue to apply to these cases.
B. Claimant Asks to Withdraw Claim Before the AC
In this event, the AC must determine whether the court remanded the case to the Commissioner under sentence four or sentence six of section 205(g) of the Social Security Act. If the court remanded the case under sentence four, then the AC can consider the claimant's request to withdraw the claim under provisions similar to Hearings, Appeals and Litigation Law (HALLEX) manual I-3-4-3 (Party Requests Dismissal). If the court remanded the case under sentence six, then the AC must issue a decision which documents the facts of the withdrawal and the effect the claimant's action has on the proceedings. The decision in such cases must contain the following:
A statement of the procedural history on remand from the court.
A discussion of the facts surrounding the claimant's request to withdraw the claim.
A discussion of the supporting documents entered in the record.
An explanation that the claimant's action renders the controversy moot, thereby making additional administrative proceedings unnecessary.
A statement adopting the prior final decision of the Commissioner, as modified.
C. ALJ Issues a Dismissal or Recommended Dismissal
When an ALJ dismisses a request for hearing in a sentence four case and the claimant does not file exceptions or a request for review (RR), the AC is not required to take any further action; however, the AC may take own motion review if the circumstances in the case warrant such action, e.g., the AC receives additional evidence which indicates a favorable decision may be issued. Absent additional evidence, exceptions, or an RR, the Court Case Preparation and Review Branch will not refer a sentence four dismissal for substantive review.
When an ALJ dismisses a request for hearing in a sentence six case and the claimant does not file exceptions or an RR, the AC must take jurisdiction of the case within 60 days in order to take corrective action. When the circumstances indicate that the claimant has abandoned the claim or withdrawn the request for hearing, the corrective action can be a single-step action using a combination own motion/decision document (see HALLEX I-4-8-80).
Exhibit - Recording Audit Requirements Chart
Exhibit - Memorandum dated June 20, 1997 Concerning Recording Audit Requirements
Exhibit - Summary of Notice Requirements - AC Assumes Jurisdiction
Exhibit - Sample AC Notice and Decision – ALJ Dismissal After Court Remand – Sentence 6 Case