When a claimant files an HA-501 (Request for Hearing), the FO generally forwards the hearing request and claims folder
to the hearing office (HO). However, if the claims folder is not in the FO, follow
instructions in GN 03105.020 to locate the folder. Based on the folder’s location, follow the appropriate instructions
in GN 03103.080.
If unable to locate the folder, notify the HO that the folder is missing. If the administrative
law judge (ALJ) requires a reconstructed claims folder to make a determination, the
HO submits a reconstruction request either directly to the FO or through the regional
office (RO), depending on procedures established in each region.
For information on when an ALJ may not need a prior claims folder, see HALLEX I-2-1-13.