DI 81030.018 Initiating and Processing Electronic Assistance Requests (AR)
A. Policy - General
Electronic ARs allow one processing component to contact another for assistance, while retaining full jurisdiction of the Certified Electronic Folder (CEF). Any office processing a CEF (or paper cases with an Electronic Folder Interface (EFI) download) can initiate or receive an AR (e.g., Disability Determination Services (DDS), Office of Disability and Review (ODAR) and the Office of Quality Review (OQR)).
NOTE: Field Offices (FO) receive but cannot initiate ARs.
Only offices with jurisdiction of the CEF (or a paper case with an EFI download) can initiate an electronic AR (e.g., DDS, DQB, and ODAR). Once a processing office receives an AR from the DQB, the receiving office has Limited Access Control (LAC) of the case which provides the ability to categorize imaged documents. The receiving office (e.g., FO) can update the CEF in response to the DQB's assistance request.
B. Procedure - Initiating an Electronic AR
1. DQB Initiates AR to FO
DQB initiates an electronic AR to the FO when there is evidence of a work activity decisional or documentation deficiency.
2. How to Initiate an AR
DQB makes an electronic AR to the FO by completing and transmitting an SSA-5524–U3 (Request for Assistance). Refer to DI 81030.021D.1. and DI 81030.021D.2., Routing and Correcting Deficient Certified Electronic Folder Cases.
3. Missing Essential Evidence
DQB should not return CEF cases to the DDS for missing essential evidence; instead, DQB makes an electronic AR to the DDS to request the missing essential evidence. Refer to DI 81030.037, Correcting Certified Electronic Cases (CEF) Cases with Essential Evidence that is Missing or Illegible.
NOTE: The CEF maintains a list of all ARs that were performed throughout the life of the case. The list of ARs is found in the “Status/History” tab of eView by selecting the “Assistance Request History” screen.