Audience:

DDS:
DHU, REF
DO/BO/TSC:
CR, CR TII, CR TXVI, DC, DT, FR, OA, OS, RR, SR
OCO-ODO-IND:
CATA, DEC, DS, RCOVTA, RECONR
OCO-ODO-SHARE:
BA, CA, DE, RECONE, RECOVR
OCO-OIO:
CATA, FCR, FDE, RECONE, RECOVR
PSC:
BA, CA, CRTA, CS, DE, DS, ICDS, IES, ISRA, RECONR

TN 9 (05-02)

GN 03106.001 Litigation — General

A. Background

1. Office of Acquiescence and Litigation Coordination and Office of Program Litigation Responsibilities

The Office of Acquiescence and Litigation Coordination (OALC), a component in the Office of Disability Programs (ODP), Office of Disability and Income Security Programs (ODISP) serves as the focal point within SSA for litigation activities. The OALC is the liaison between SSA policy and operations components and the Office of Program Litigation (OPL), Office of the General Counsel (OGC). OALC and OPL are responsible for litigation activities arising under:

  • The Retirement and Survivors Program;

  • The Disability Program;

  • The Supplemental Security Income Program;

  • The Coal Act legislation.

2. OALC and OPL - Additional Litigation Responsibilities

To the extent that litigation in the following programs impacts on Social Security issues the OALC and OPL are also responsible for litigation activities arising under:

  • The Temporary Assistance for Needy Families (TANF);

  • The Child Support Enforcement; and

  • The Energy Assistance Program.

B. Description - Duties and Responsibilities of the OALC

Duties and responsibilities of the OALC include but are not limited to:

  • Working with OGC to analyze significant complaints (including class action complaints) (See GN 03106.005A. for further information about complaints) to determine SSA's position on the litigation;

  • Directing and monitoring compliance with class action court orders and court orders in individual cases when OGC/OPL requests input;

  • Responding to discovery requests (including motions to produce and interrogatories);

  • Providing information on SSA's policies, procedures, and responding to requests for statistical data;

  • Coordinating SSA policy and operations component comments and formulating SSA's recommendation on whether a court order should be appealed;

  • Preparing various reports to track litigation activity;

  • Developing information necessary to respond to a Subpoena;

  • Coordinating with OGC when notified of a threatened contempt action because SSA overpayment collection violated a Bankruptcy order; and

  • Drafting Acquiescence Rulings when deemed appropriate.

C. Descripition - Duties and Responsibilities of the OPL

Duties and responsibilities of the OPL include but are not limited to:

  • Forwarding court orders to the proper SSA component for effectuation and/or processing;

  • Monitoring SSA's compliance with court orders in individual court cases;

  • Preparing responsive legal documents and pleadings; and

  • Identifying court decisions that conflict with SSA policy.

D. Descripition - Duties and Responsibilities of the Assistant Regional Commissioner, Management, Operations and Support (ARC-MOS)

Each Regional Office coordinates litigation activity on the regional level through ARC-MOS, or other designated component. The designated component's duties and responsibilities include, but are not limited to:

  • Acting as a liaison between regional and field components locally and with the OALC centrally;

  • Alerting the OALC about significant court cases, activities and issues that arise in the region;

  • Coordinating implementation of class action litigation at the regional level; and

  • Tracking the implementation of individual court orders that affect title II/XVI claimants/recipients;

  • Obtaining "PACER" (Public Access to Court Electronic Records) summaries from the Federal Courts, when available, to determine the status of a legal action in the U.S. District Courts.

E. Description - Duties and Responsibilities of the Processing Center (PC)

Each PC has Disability Specialists/Benefit Authorizers, or other designated positions, who coordinate litigation activities in the PCs. The duties and responsibilities of the designated position include, but are not limited to:

  • Acting as a liaison between PC components locally and with the OALC centrally;

  • Alerting OPL if a court order cannot b