It is the FO responsibility to obtain the prior file or, if the file is unavailable,
a copy of the administrative law judge (ALJ) or Appeals Council (AC) decision any
time the Albright AR applies in adjudicating a subsequent claim.
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.)
In addition to the usual development, 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. Include a copy of the OHAQ in the file
to the DDS. 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
Obtain a copy of the prior ALJ or AC decision and include it with your DDS material
to DDS. If the claimant or his/her attorney cannot provide a copy of the decision,
document this in Remarks of the SSA-3367.
Whenever there is a prior ALJ or AC decision, the FO will request the prior folder
from any location. Enter the date you requested the folder in section 7 of the SSA-3367.
Send your case to the DDS. Notify the DDS within 30 days of the results of your folder
Notify the DDS within 30 days if the folder is not received, is lost, or has been
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.