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Office of Disability Adjudication and Review

Volume I

Transmittal No. I-5-1-19 (Revised)

Division 5: Division 5: Temporary Instructions

Subject: Processing Appeals Involving the Marital Status of a Same-Sex Couple


This transmittal revises and expands the Hearings, Appeals and Litigation Law (HALLEX) manual Temporary Instruction (TI) I-5-1-19, Processing Appeals Involving Same-Sex Marriages, in HALLEX Division 5, Chapter 1, General Subjects. We expanded the TI to include instructions for processing claims for the following benefits: aged spouse, spouse with child-in-care, surviving spouse, mother, father, or child. We also provide updated instructions for processing Supplemental Security Income appeals involving same-sex marriages.

Explanation of Content and Changes

I. Purpose

We added a reference to the Supreme Court decision Obergefell v. Hodges.

II. Background

We added a reference to the Supreme Court decision Obergefell v. Hodges.

III. Definitions

We made minor grammatical changes.

IV. Referrals for a Legal Opinion

We explained the need to check the title II or title XVI Regional Chief Counsel Precedents available in Program Operations Manual System (POMS) parts PR and PS when a legal opinion is required and the field office (FO) or processing center (PC) has not provided the servicing hearing office (HO) with a legal opinion or summary.

V. Case Processing

Case Processing expanded to include instructions for processing additional claim types. We also added applicable beneficiary identification codes (BIC). We removed all references to case holding.

VI. Overpayments

We removed the “Case Holding and Procedures” section, and changed this section to “Overpayments,” with references to EM-16013 REV 2 and EM-16XXX[1].

VII. Inquiries

We revised the first sentence to clarify that we may reply to an inquiry from the claimant or his or her appointed representative about the status of a hearing request or request for Appeals Council review to the extent possible using the information in the TI. In subsection B, Technical Issues, we made a minor editorial change in the first sentence.

Date: September 23, 2016