Identification Number:
EM-23016
Intended Audience:All RCs/ARCs/ADs/FOs/OHO/OARO
Originating Office:OPSOS and OCALJ
Title:Field Office (FO) Instructions for Assistance Requests from the Office of Hearings Operations (OHO) for Hearing Requests with No Supplemental Security Income (SSI) Application in the Certified Electronic Folder (CEF) or Available in the Online Retrieval System (ORS)
Type:EM - Emergency Messages
Program:Title XVI (SSI)
Link To Reference:See References at the end of this EM.
 
Retention Date: March 09, 2024


A. Purpose:

This EM provides FOs with instructions for handling Assistance Requests from OHO for hearing requests pending without an SSI application in the CEF or available in ORS.
    B. Background:

    In August 2022, we released an update to the Consolidated Claims Experience (CCE) that continued the migration of MSSICS to the CCE web platform. Prior to this release, MSSICS allowed technicians to bypass the printing of the SSI application, which is a policy requirement to properly document the attestation process. To ensure policy compliance with the attestation process (See GN 00201.015F) and the instructions regarding changes or additions on applications (see GN 00205.015), the August 20, 2022 release enforced the policy by requiring technicians to print the application during the initial claims taking process before technicians can document that SSA has received a signed application.

    Traditionally, when hearing offices are unable to locate the application in a CEF or ORS, they send an assistance request to the FO of jurisdiction who could then search and print a new SSI application from MSSICS and send it to the hearing office to exhibit in the file. This practice allowed technicians to print what was on MSSICS but did not necessarily result in the actual copy of the original application taken at the initial claim interview.

    C. Processing Instructions:

    When the hearing office develops a case filed prior to the August 20, 2022 CCE release and recognizes the SSI application is not in the claimant’s CEF or available in ORS:

      · The hearing office will send an assistance request to the FO of jurisdiction;

      · The FO will research all available databases for copies of the original SSI application;

      · If the FO cannot locate a copy of the SSI application, it will need to record certain information on an SSA-5002 (Report of Contact) and submit it to eView or the Electronic Non-Medical (ENM) application. The SSA-5002 must include the following:

          o a statement that “[Name of claimant] filed an application for Supplemental Security Income (SSI) on [enter filing date].”

          o a statement that, “Due to technical issues related to systems updates, the agency is unable to produce a copy of the SSI application.”

          o the alleged disability onset date, if any, on the application

      · The FO will provide the SSA-5002 within 10 business days of receipt, following the standard procedures for responding to hearing office assistance requests; and

      · The hearing office will exhibit the SSA-5002 as evidence of the SSI application in Section D. Non-Medical Development of the CEF.



    Direct all program-related and technical questions to your Regional Office (RO) support staff. RO support staff may refer questions, concerns, or problems to their Central Office contacts.

    OHO personnel should direct questions to local management. OHO managers may seek guidance from the RO. RO managers may refer questions or unresolved issues to the Division of Field Procedures in the Office of the Chief Administrative Law Judge.


    References

    DI 81010.100 Electronic Disability Collect System (EDCS) Actions Page
    GN 00201.015 Alternative Signature Methods
    GN 00205.015 Handling Changes and Additions on Applications

    EM-23016 - Field Office (FO) Instructions for Assistance Requests from the Office of Hearings Operations (OHO) for Hearing Requests with No Supplemental Security Income (SSI) Application in the Certified Electronic Folder (CEF) or Available in the Online Retrieval System (ORS) - 03/09/2023