I-5-4-27.Ward, et al., v. Schweiker
|Claims Covered by the Agreement|
|Implementation of Settlement Agreement|
|- Amended Stipulated Dismissal Order Dated Nov. 30, 1989|
|- Report to Regional Office|
ISSUED: August 27, 1990
This Temporary Instruction (TI) contains instructions for implementing the agreement in the stipulated dismissal from the U.S. District Court for the Western District of Missouri in Ward, et al. v. Schweiker, 81-0650-CV-W-JWO-3 (W.D. Mo. 1989). Under the terms of the agreement, hearing office (HO) personnel processing claims of residents of Missouri must follow certain procedures, set forth below, for screening, monitoring, assigning and reporting Supplemental Security Income (SSI) nondisability claims to comply with the 90-day time limit of 42 U.S.C. § 1383(c)(2) and 20 CFR § 416.1453.
On December 15, l982, the U.S. District Court for the Western District of Missouri issued a stipulated dismissal requiring the Social Security Administration (SSA) to follow specific procedures for processing SSI nondisability cases. The Office of Hearings and Appeals (OHA) released copies of the settlement agreement and related instructions to all HOs within Region VII instructing offices processing claims of Missouri residents to follow the agreement.
On November 30, 1989, the district court issued an Amended Stipulated Dismissal incorporating the new settlement terms agreed to by the parties (Attachment A).
III. Claims Covered by the Agreement
The agreement covers all requests for hearing filed by Missouri residents in which an SSI nondisability issue is being appealed. Thus, the agreement does not extend to Appeals Council remand cases, but does cover any SSI claim in which at least one of the issues is a nondisability issue, e.g., an income and resource issue case.
IV. Implementation of Settlement Agreement
A. Screening and Flagging
HO personnel must screen all SSI claims of Missouri residents upon receipt to determine whether they are covered by the 90-day time limit. HO staff must flag all nondisability claims filed by residents of Missouri with form HA-648. The HA-648 must be prominently displayed so that it is visible on the file.
HO personnel must enter the SSI 90-day case information into OHA's Case Control System (CCS) and the Hearing Office Tracking System (HOTS). To flag the record on HOTS, HO personnel will enter “SSI 90 DAY” (omit quotes) in the “HO FIELD 1” field which is found on the Case Receipt and Assign/Edit A Case screens. HO personnel must alert the Hearing Office Manager (HOM) to the receipt of the case at the time the CCS and HOTS systems are updated.
C. Assigning Cases and Scheduling Hearings
An SSI 90-day case must be assigned to an Administrative Law Judge (ALJ) in the servicing HO within 10 days of its receipt in the HO.
The ALJ must issue the hearing decision no later than 90 days after the request for hearing was filed unless there is good cause for extending the time period as described in 20 CFR § 416.1453(B)(2). HO personnel must schedule hearings in 90-day cases to allow enough time to prepare the decision. If it is necessary in order to meet the 90-day deadline and the claimant is willing to travel, the ALJ may schedule a hearing at a site over 75 miles from the claimant's residence. In this instance, SSA must pay travel expenses pursuant to 20 CFR § 416.1495 ff. In the alternative, the ALJ must make a special hearing trip to a remote site to hear a 90-day case if it is necessary in order to issue a decision within 90 days.
Weekly Report to the Hearing Office Chief Administrative Law Judge (HOCALJ)
HO personnel must prepare a report which lists all SSI 90-day cases and their status and give it to the HOM and HOCALJ on a weekly basis. HO personnel must use the SSI 90-day program provided by the Regional Office on October 27, l989, to generate the report.
The HOCALJ or delegate will monitor the list to ensure that time limits are met. The HO will retain the report for a period of one year from the date of the printout.
Reports to the Regional Office
All HOs processing Missouri claims will prepare reports covering the following reporting periods:
January 1, 1990, through March 31, 1990,
April 1, 1990, through June 30, 1990, and
July 1, 1990, through December 31, 1990.
The reports will contain the following:
the processing time for each 90-day case,
the number of cases to which exclusions under the regulations applied,
an explanation for the basis of the exclusion for each case,
the number of cases which exceed the 90-day limit after applying the exclusions, and
the reason(s) why a specific case exceeded the 90-day limit after applying the exclusions.
The HOs must submit their reports to the Kansas City Regional Office, Attention: Program Branch — John Martin, no later than 10 days after the close of the reporting period.
All HOs are to use the form in Attachment B.
HO personnel may call the Regional Office on FTS 867-5246. Regional Office personnel may call the Division of Field Practices and Procedures in the Office of the Chief Administrative Law Judge on FTS 305-0022. Headquarters personnel may call the Division of Litigation Analysis and Implementation on 305-0708.