Subject: Division of Quality Service
This transmittal amends the Hearings, Appeals and Litigation Law (HALLEX) manual Volume I, Division 1 to add new Chapter I-1-8, Division of Quality Service (DQS). Under this new Chapter, we are adding five sections. These sections include: I-1-8-1 DQS Role; I-1-8-4 Complaints; I- 1-8-7 Review and Acknowledgment of Complaints; I-1-8-10 DQS Determines an Investigation Is Unnecessary; and I-1-8-13 DQS Determines an Investigation Is Necessary. These revisions are necessary to comply with recently published Social Security Ruling (SSR) 13-1p.
HALLEX I-1-8 contains the following sections, organized accordingly:
I-1-8-1 – DQS Role. This section generally explains the function of DQS as it pertains to SSR 13-1p.
I-1-8-4 – Complaints. This section contains two subsections. The first subsection addresses complaints filed by the public, governmental entities, and Social Security Administration (SSA) personnel, with the exception of the Appeals Council (AC). It explains who may file a complaint, what the complaint must contain, when the complaint must be filed, and where the complaint must be filed. The second subsection addresses referrals from the AC to DQS.
I-1-8-7 – Review and Acknowledgment of Complaints. This section contains two subsections. The first subsection addresses complaints filed with DQS and the process that they will use to review the complaint. It also addresses how DQS will acknowledge valid complaints. The second subsection contains information regarding how complaints will be acknowledged if they are submitted to an Office of Disability Adjudication and Review (ODAR) Regional Office or the National Hearing Center Central Office.
I-1-8-10 – DQS Determines an Investigation Is Unnecessary. This section contains two subsections. The first subsection addresses how the Administrative Law Judge will be notified of a complaint filed against him or her with DQS under SSR 13-1p. The second subsection contains information on how the person or entity who filed the complaint will be notified that the complaint is closed.
I-1-8-13 – DQS Determines an Investigation Is Necessary. This section contains three subsections. The first subsection provides general information about when an investigation is necessary. The second subsection explains how ODAR, specifically DQS, the ODAR Regional Offices, and the NHC, will conduct an investigation. The last subsection explains that DQS may find it necessary to make referrals to other SSA offices and seek advice on what course of action to take in the course of an investigation.
Date: March 12, 2013