TN 48 (11-94)

DI 32594.005 Providing Relief to Class Members

A. Process

1. Identification

Central Office will identify by computer all potential class members.

2. Notification

  1. Central Office will notify potential class members by first class mail. The notice will advise potential class members that they must return an enclosed reply form within 120 days of receipt of the notice in order to obtain relief.

    Some potential State of New York class members had already requested relief in another class action, and thus SSA treated them as having already requested State of New York relief and did not send them separate State of New York notices. SSA will conduct multiple mailings.

  2. Central Office and the FO will try to obtain current addresses for individuals whose notice are returned as undeliverable.

3. Responses

Responses will be sent to ODIO, where they will be annotated to a class action tracking system.

4. Late responders

The PC will refer to the FO cases in which the individual responded to the notice later than 125 days from the date the notice was mailed. The FO will decide whether there is good cause for the late response. If good cause exists, the reply will be deemed to have been received timely. If good cause does not exist, the FO will notify the individual of this decision. The court order also provides that potential class members may demonstrate that they are responding within 120 days of their actual receipt of the notice.

5. Case call-up

  1. The tracking system will generate alerts to be associated with folders of those who requested relief.

  2. Periodically, cases will be released for class membership screening and readjudication. See Case Flag/Alert in DI 32594. 095, Exhibit 1.

  3. Alerts for cases of those who responded later than 125 days will be annotated “LATE RESPONDER - GOOD CAUSE DECISION NEEDED.” Alerts for timely responders do not contain an identifying remark.

  4. Folders for late responders will be sent to the FO for development of possible good cause. Other folders will be routed for screening as to class membership.

6. Screening and readjudication

ODIO will screen most cases for class membership with assistance from NEPSC (as needed). In claim reconstruction situations and when a current claim is pending in a DDS, the NYDDS will do the screening. OHA will screen cases for which they have readjudication jurisdiction.

Readjudication will be done by the NYDDS or OHA.

7. Appeals from readjudication determinations

Class members retain all administrative and judicial appeal rights with respect to readjudication determinations.

B. Policy

1. Jurisdiction - screening for class membership

Cases will be screened by ODIO, NEPSC, or by the same component that has jurisdiction of the readjudication of class members' cases.

2. Readjudication - jurisdiction - no current claim pending

Class members will have their determinations readjudicated as follows:

  1. Determinations originally made by a DDS will be readjudicated by the New York DDS, regardless of the class member's current residence.

  2. Determinations originally made by the ALJ or Appeals Council will be readjudicated by an ALJ.

    NOTE: If a class member has more than one determination that meets all of the requirements of DI 32594.001, jurisdiction is determined by the level at which the most recent determination was adjudicated.

3. Jurisdiction - current claim pending

  1. If a claim is currently pending at the initial or reconsideration level and if a common issue exists, the current claim and the State of New York case will be consolidated at the level at which the current claim is pending, regardless of the level of adjudication of the State of New York case. Refer to DI 32502.001 if pending case is in another DDS.

  2. If a claim is currently pending at the ALJ level, the ALJ will afford the class member the option of having the cases consolidated or proceeding with them separately. The current claim and the State of New York case will be consolidated at the ALJ level, regardless of the level of adjudication of the State of New York case, if

    • the class member agrees to the consolidationand

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