Skip to main content

Office of Disability Adjudication and Review

Volume I

Transmittal No. I-3-43

Chapter: I-3-1: Workup of a Case by an Analyst

Subject: Critical Case Procedures


We have revised and our guidelines for identifying and processing cases designated as “critical.” We have expanded the criteria and provided more guidance on updated procedures.

Explanation of Content and Changes

This transmittal revises I-3-1-51 to provide additional instructions for identifying and processing critical cases involving dire need. These instructions have been placed in subsection I-3-1-51 F. Current subsection I-3- 1-51 F. (Critical Case Identification) has been designated I-3-1-51 G. and the remaining subsections have been re-lettered alphabetically.

I-3-1-51 G.- J. — We revised the instructions about the role of the Congressional and Public Affairs Branch (CPAB) in the critical case process to show that the OAO branch chiefs, as well as CPAB, may designate a case as critical and CPAB is only responsible for controlling those cases that CPAB has designated as critical. The branch chiefs may confirm that a case designated as critical at the hearings level remains a critical case or may newly designate a case as critical at the Appeals Council (AC) level.

I-3-1-51 H. (Reporting and Expediting Procedures — Office of Appellate Operation) — We reordered the Appeals Review Processing System (ARPS) case characteristics codes to be consistent with the order of critical situations listed in I-3-1-51 B.; added instructions for notifying the field office that a case has been identified as critical at the Appeals Council level; and deleted duplicative language regarding routing of cases.

I-3-1-51 I. (Completion of OAO Action) — We incorporated instructions from a March 30, 2004 Executive Director's memorandum which indicates that certified supplemental court transcripts or certified administrative records are no longer required for cases involving fully favorable Appeals Council decisions after sentence 6 court remands.

Other minor changes were made that include providing definitions of acronyms, using acronyms when the terms had been defined previously in the section, and correcting capitalization and punctuation errors.

Date: March 27, 2012