TN 42 (08-95)

DI 42521.005 Notifying and Alerting Potential Class Members

A. Policy

1. Systems identification

Potential Dixon class members are identified by a computer systems run.

2. Poster notices

SSA will provide field offices (FOs), hearing offices and disability determination services (DDSs) in New York State with English and Spanish posters (no smaller than 17" x 22") that will be displayed for the 6-month period beginning within 7 days of the date of the initial mailing of the individual notices. SSA will also make reasonable efforts to distribute posters to welfare centers, food stamp offices and Medicaid offices in New York State.

3. Notification

  1. Individual potential class membership notices (see DI 42521.095, Exhibit 1) will be sent by the Litigation Staff (LS) by first-class mail along with a reply form (see DI 42521.095, Exhibit 2) and a postage-paid, preaddressed return envelope.

  2. Individuals may also contact SSA in person, in writing or by telephone (see DI 42521.010) and request a Dixon review of their previous claim(s). For those individuals, the FO will complete and sign a “Request for Court Case Review/Change of Address Worksheet” (see DI 42521.095, Exhibit 10).

4. Response

  1. Individuals who are sent the potential class member notice (see 3.a. above) will be instructed in the notice to return the reply form (see 3.a. above) in the postage-paid, preaddressed return envelope within 90 days after receipt of the notice to:

    SSA

    Office of Disability and International Operations (ODIO)

    Class Action Section

    Attention: Dixon Coordinator

    P.O. Box 17369

    Baltimore, MD 21298-0050

    NOTE: SSA presumes receipt of the notice within 5 days after the date of the notice. If receipt was actually later, the 90-day time limit runs from that later date.

  2. ODIO will enter returned reply forms, including change of address information, into the Civil Action Tracking System (CATS). CATS generates court case folder alerts (see DI 42521.095, Exhibit 8). These alerts will be used by ODIO and/or NEPSC to locate and pull the Dixon claim(s) folders.

  3. LS will send an acknowledgment notice (see DI 42521.095, Exhibit 3) to each individual who requests a review of his/her prior claim(s).

5. Walk-In responders

Special alerts will be produced for walk-in responders who were not previously identified as potential Dixon class members.

6. Undeliverable notices

Undeliverable potential class member notices will be processed as follows:

  1. Undeliverable notices will be returned to ODIO.

  2. ODIO will scan the undeliverable notices to record and update them on CATS.

  3. LS will use its best efforts to conduct computer matches with any compatible New York State Department of Social Services or New York City Human Resources Administration data system or any other New York State or municipal human services agency data system for the purposes of obtaining the most recent addresses for potential class members whose notices are returned as undeliverable.

  4. After the computer matches are completed, LS will provide class counsel with a list of potential class members whose notices were returned as undeliverable, and for whom no updated addresses were obtained. Class counsel has 90 days after receipt of such names to furnish LS with current addresses for such individuals.

  5. LS will remail the potential class membership notice (see DI 42521.095, Exhibit 1) to those individuals for whom updated addresses are obtained.

7. Timeliness of responses

Timeliness of the response will be determined as follows:

  • Individuals who receive a notice must reply within 90 days of receiving the notice. Central Office (CO) will screen for the timeliness of the reply form. If CO determines that the reply form is not timely, CO will request the servicing FO to develop “good cause” for the late responder. CATS will generate a “good cause” alert (see DI 42521.020.B.5. and DI 42521.095, Exhibit 8) to initiate “good cause” development with the servicing FO.

  • Individuals who did not receive a notice mus