TN 55 (08-96)
DI 12586.010 Screening for Stieberger Class/Membership/Entitlement to Reopening
This process will be followed in determining whether a responder is a class member entitled to reopening:
The Civil Action Tracking System (CATS) generates an alert (Exhibit 9, DI 12586.095) along with a complete query package (MBR, SSR/STALE, OHA data) to ODIO.
ODIO associates the alert/query package (see DI 12586.020C.) with the reply form (Exhibit 5, DI 12586.095) and assembles a green Stieberger responder jacket.
ODIO separates the potential class member cases into four categories: “Title Unknown”, Subsequent Allowance cases, Civil Action Pending cases (see DI 12586.025C.) and “All Others.”
ODIO screens “Title Unknown” and Subsequent Allowance cases (and sends notices). Class member cases potentially entitled to reopening are forwarded to the FO in the green responder jacket. In Subsequent Allowance cases, the claims folder will be attached to the green responder jacket.
ODIO forwards “All Other” alerts to the FO together with the green responder jacket for screening. No claims folder will be attached.
FOs review the information in the alert/query package to screen for class membership using the Stieberger Screening Sheet (DI 12586.095, Exhibit 7). Where the responder does not qualify for relief, FOs release the Screen-Out Notice (DI 12586.095, Exhibit 8). A copy of the Screening Sheet is sent to ODIO (see DI 12586.005D.2.b. for address).
B. Procedure -- Field Office Screening
1. FO Responsibility
With the exception of “Title Unknown” alerts and Stieberger responder cases in which there was a subsequent allowance, FOs screen claims for entitlement to relief under Stieberger (see A.).
2. CATS, FACT, SSR/STALE and OHA Query
Review the CATS alert, FACT, SSR/STALE, and OHAQ query responses to determine if the individual is a Stieberger class member entitled to reopening. Consider all applications and/or terminations adjudicated after 09/30/81 and before 07/03/92.
CAUTION: Only screen a case out if query responses clearly indicate that individual is not entitled to reopening on any claim.
3. Subsequent Denial/Cessation By NYDDS
IF the record shows that the New York DDS denied or terminated a subsequent disability claim that:
covered the same period as the original denial; and:
the DDS decision on the subsequent claim was made after July 2, 1992; Then:
The post-July 2, 1992, decision afforded full Stieberger protection (relief) to the claimant. Complete the Screening Sheet and release the Screen-Out notice per C., below.
4. Subsequent Unfavorable Decision Review
Where a Stieberger cessation had an unfavorable Decision Review by a DDS other than the New York DDS, at any time, or by the New York DDS after July 2, 1992, no Stieberger reopening is necessary. Complete the Screening Sheet and release the Screen-Out notice per C., below.
C. Procedure -- Screen-Outs
If review shows that the claimant is not a class member entitled to reopening:
Complete the Stieberger Screening Sheet (DI 12586.095, Exhibit 7).
Prepare the Screen-Out Notice (DI 12586.095, Exhibit 8).
Send copies of the notice to the responder, and, if the green jacket contains an SSA 1696-U4, to the attorney or authorized representative.
Place the original Screening Sheet and the file copy of the notice in the green jacket. Send a copy of the Screening Sheet to ODIO (see DI 12586.005D.2.b.). Retain the green jacket in the FO for 180 days.
If no protest is received (see D., below) within 180 days from the date of the notice of screen-out (60-day limit, plus 120 days for a possible “good cause” late request), destroy the green jacket and queries, and route any other material according to normal procedures.
D. Policy -- Disagreements
If a responder disagrees with screen-out determination, the following policy is applicable.
If the responder disagrees with the screen-out determination, he/she must notify the OGC in writing within 60 days of receiving the determination. Written disagreements must be sent to:The Office of General Counsel
Room 611, Altmeyer Building
6401 Security Boulevard
Baltimore, MD 21235-6401
SSA FOs accept written disagreements on screen-out determinations, date stamp and forward them to the OGC address in 1., above.
If no disagreement is received within 60 days, the determination becomes final, unless good cause for late notification is shown.
The responder and/or the responder's representative, if any, may ask to inspect the administrative record on which the determination was based and, as needed, the claims file.
SSA will notify the individual once the record/file is available for inspection. The individual will have 45 days from the notification of record availability to inspect the record/file at a mutually agreeable location.
OGC notifies class counsel of all such disputes. Class counsel may also inspect records/files.
If the parties cannot resolve the dispute regarding the screen-out determination, OGC sends the responder, any representative, and class counsel notice confirming that the dispute cannot be resolved.
NOTE: The notice indicates that either the responder or class counsel may request district court review within 60 days of receipt of the confirmation notice. Failure to request district court review within 60 days of receiving the OGC confirmation notice renders SSA's determination final and not subject to further review.
E. Procedure -- Screen-Ins
See DI 12586.020D