TN 9 (05-02)

GN 03106.036 Court Remand Orders

Citations:

20 CFR §§ 404.953, 404.955, 404.983, 404.984, 416.1453, 416.1455, 416.1483, 416.1484

A. DEFINITION

A “court remand” is a court order returning a claim to the Commissioner for further action.

NOTE: A district court order remanding a case to the Commissioner for payment of benefits is not a remand order requiring the Commissioner to further develop the record or hold a hearing. It is an order reversing the final decision of the Commissioner and requires payment of benefits. See GN 03106.050. However, a court order vacating the prior decision and remanding the case to the Commissioner voids the prior decision (e.g., ALJ/AAJ (administrative appeals judge) decision, and thus returns the case to the status of a claim "pending" before SSA.)

B. PROCESS

1. Court May Issue Remand Order

a. Under Sentence 4 of § 205(g) of the Social Security Act

A court may issue a remand order under sentence 4 of § 205(g) of the Social Security Act, (a.k.a. a sentence 4 remand) if the court decides, with or without comments from either the claimant or SSA, that additional development and/or the evaluation of evidence is needed to make a decision in the case; or

b. Under Sentence 6 of § 205(g) of the Social Security Act

A court may issue a remand order under sentence 6 of § 205(g) of the Social Security Act (a.k.a. a sentence 6 remand):

  • At SSA's request with a showing of good cause prior to answering the complaint; or

  • If new and material evidence is submitted to the court with a showing of good cause for not incorporating the evidence into the record in the prior proceeding.

The court retains jurisdiction over those cases remanded under sentence 6. This means that after the administrative proceedings on remand have been finished by SSA, SSA must file a copy of the new final decision with the court. In cases where the new final decision of the Commissioner is either partially favorable or unfavorable to the claimant an administrative record must be filed with the court. The administrative record must include a transcript of all testimony taken at an hearing(s) before an ALJ as well as any additional testimony taken at supplemental hearing(s). Also, any additional evidence developed in connection with the new decision must be included.

2. Routing of the Court Remand Order

OGC forwards a copy of the court's remand order to OHO, Office of Appellate Operations (OAO) for action by the Appeals Council (AC).

NOTE: The Office of Acquiescence and Litigation Coordination does not generally receive copies of any remand orders and cannot provide copies to effectuating components.

3. AC Action on Remand

Upon receipt of the court remand order, OHO, OAO will obtain the folder for AC review. The AC may:

  • Assume jurisdiction and issue a decision; or

  • Remand the case to an ALJ for further proceedings and a new decision.

NOTE: If SSA files an appeal of a remand order in court, however, the AC suspends all action until the court has issued a final decision on appeal.

C. PROCEDURE

1. OHO Folder Acquisition

Upon receipt of the remand order, OHO, by telephone or administrative message, requests that the custodian of the claim folder(s) send it directly to:

OHO, Office of Appellate Operations
5107 Leesburg Pike
Falls Church, VA 22041-3200

NOTE: If the remand order was entered after an answer to the complaint was filed and OHO cannot locate the claim folder in a timely fashion, OHO, OAO will request a copy of the administrative record from OGC to process the court case on remand