SI KC04030.030 Preparing for SSI Hearing (TN 1 - 9/04)
See SI 04030.030 and SI 04030.020.
Field offices must give special attention to requests for hearings when the matter to be decided is other than whether the appellant is disabled. The Social Security Regulation 20 CFR 416.1453 provides that, for non-disability issues, the administrative law judge (ALJ) must issue the decision no later than 90 days after the request for hearing is filed. In 1982, this requirement became an issue in a class action law suit in Missouri. Plaintiffs in the case claimed that SSI non-disability hearings were not being processed within the statutory time frame.
The case was settled out of court. Under the terms of the settlement procedures were established to assure that Missouri field offices would annotate SSI non-disability hearing cases and forward them to ODAR within five days. In 2004, SSA was again involved in a court case, Ward v. Barnhart. The U. S. District Court for the Western District of Missouri dismissed the case, but provided certain stipulations that SSA must follow for Missouri residents.
To promote compliance with SSA regulations and to avoid litigation in other courts the following procedures apply to all field offices in the Kansas City Region.
1. Annotating SSI non-disability hearing requests
All SSI non-disability hearing requests will require a special notation on the hearing office copy of the HA-501-U5. This will alert the hearing office to the 90 day timeframe requirements in 20 CFR 416.1453 and SI 04030.040B.5.a.
The HA-501-U5 annotation should state, in red “SSI NON-DISABILITY ISSUE - 90-DAY CASE” across the top of the hearing office copy.
In those situations where both the claims file copy and hearing office copy of the HA-501 are placed in the claim folder, the hearing office copy should be the topmost document.
2. Updating the record
If additional evidence is required do not delay forwarding the folder to ODAR while the development is pending. Development should be completed after the folder has been sent. Use the most expeditious method of obtaining additional evidence, for example, use the phone rather than an SSA-L4201 to obtain wage information.
3. Forwarding the request for hearing and folder
Generally, hearing requests are forwarded to ODAR within one day. All requests for hearings on SSI non-medical factors MUST be forwarded to the hearing office within five days of the request. The “Hearing Office” copy of the HA-501-U5 should be sent to the hearing office serving the area where the appellant lives. Be sure to update the SSI Claims Control System for the folder movement from the field office to ODAR.