DI 52705.015 Field Office (FO) Responsibilities
The prior file or a copy of the administrative law judge (ALJ) or Appeals Council (AC) decision must be requested any time the Drummond AR applies in adjudicating a subsequent claim.
1. Prior claim activities
See DI 11005.085 for guidance on prior claims activities. (Per DI 11005.085B.3.a., FOs should provide the disability determination services (DDS) with prior files located in any FO location.)
2. Initial disability interview/development
In addition to the usual actions, take the following actions:
Ask the claimant about any prior disability claims and the last adjudicative level at which each claim was decided.
Obtain an Office of Hearings and Appeals query (OHAQ) to verify the last adjudicative level at which each prior claim was decided and the status of the claim. The OHAQ does not include decisions made before 1982. The OHAQ codes for disability cases are as follows:
DIWC = TII Disabled Wage Earner/Child
DIWW = TII Disabled Widow(er)
SSIB = TXVI Blind
SSID = TXVI Disabled
SSBC = TII/XVI Concurrent Blind
SSDC = TII/XVI Concurrent Disabled
Whenever there is a prior ALJ or AC decision obtain the prior file from any location and forward both the prior and subsequent files to the DDS.
If the prior file is not received within a reasonable period (i.e., 30 days), obtain a copy of the ALJ or AC decision from the claimant, place it in the subsequent file and forward the file to the DDS.
Alert the DDS of any prior ALJ or AC decision, location of the prior file, and whenever the prior file is lost or has been destroyed.
If the AC takes an unfavorable action on a claimant's request for review, the claim file is retained in ODAR Headquarters for 5 months pending potential filing of a civil action. In such instances, obtain a copy of the ALJ or AC decision and forward it to the DDS.