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SOCIAL SECURITY ADMINISTRATION
Office of Disability Adjudication and Review

HALLEX
Volume I

Transmittal No. I-3-157

Chapter: I-3-1

Subject: Initial Processing of a Request for Review

Background

This transmittal amends Hearings, Appeals and Litigation Law (HALLEX) manual chapter I-3-1 to update procedures for routing paper claim(s) files and hearing recordings. Consistent with the decision of the Deputy Commissioner for Disability Adjudication and Review to end operations at the Office of Appellate Operations (OAO) MegaSite in Springfield, Virginia, OAO staff now routes paper claim(s) files with the hearing recording(s) to the Social Security Administration's National Records Center (SSANRC) in Independence, Missouri, or if the claim is favorably decided, to the appropriate effectuating component.

Explanation of Content and Changes

I-3-1-12 – In subsection A.2., we delete the requirement that OAO staff request the hearing recording from the MegaSite, because the information is obsolete. In subsection B, we explain that if the hearing recording is missing or inaudible, OAO staff will first attempt to access the hearing recording through eView. In subsection B.2., we change the diary period for requesting the recording from 30 days to 14 days, such that OAO staff will first diary the case for 14 days and if no response is received, OAO staff will follow up and diary the case for an additional 14 days. In subsection B.3., we state that if OAO staff is unable to secure the recording from the hearing office, OAO staff will confer with the branch chief. We also make minor editorial and formatting changes throughout this section.

I-3-1-23 – We remove references to the MegaSite Information Management System (MIMS), because we no longer use this system. In subsection A, we explain that OAO staff will search for the location of a paper claim(s) files through the Automated Folder Location (AFL) website. We retitle subsection B “Claims File Located in the Social Security Administration's National Records Center (SSANRC)” to accurately reflect updated storage procedures. We explain that OAO staff will generally request claim(s) files through the AFL and will follow up by email with the SSANRC. In subsection C.1., we add a reference to the Claim(s) File and Hearing Recording Search Checklist in HALLEX I-3-1-26 and make minor formatting changes. In subsection C.2., we change the diary period for file requests from 30 days to 14 days. In subsection C.3., we explain that if OAO staff receives no response after 14 days from the initial request, OAO staff will send a follow-up email as described in HALLEX I-3-1-26 and diary the case for an additional 14 days. We also make minor editorial changes throughout this section.

I-3-1-25 – We update the information to explain that an OAO branch chief will now request paper claim(s) files through the AFL. We remove references to the MIMS because we no longer use this system. We also make minor changes throughout this section.

I-3-1-26 – We retitle the section “Exhibit — Claim(s) File and Hearing Recording Search Checklist” and provide updated procedures for locating both claim(s) files and hearing recordings. We remove outdated information throughout the section and reorganize the checklist into subsections. We also change the diary period from 15 days to 14 days for following up on a request for a claim(s) file or hearing recording. After following up on the initial request, OAO staff will diary the case for an additional 14 days. If no response is received, OAO staff will forward the completed checklist to the branch chief. In subsection A, we provide updated instructions to locate and request a paper claim(s) file. We explain that OAO staff will now request paper claim(s) files through the AFL. In subsection B, we add new instructions to locate and request hearing recordings.

Date: May 26, 2017