Effective Dates: 06/24/2022 - Present
Retention Date: December 16, 2023
|Intended Audience:||All Office of Hearings Operations (OHO) Personnel|
|Originating Office:||Office of the Chief Administrative Law Judge|
|Title:||Extension of Good Cause Provisions Due to the Coronavirus Disease 2019 (COVID-19) Pandemic|
|Type:||Chief Judge Bulletins|
|Link To Reference:||See References at the end of this CJB.|
Descriptive Summary: This Chief Judge Bulletin (CJB) updates the Extension of Good Cause Provisions section that was previously in CJB 19-04 SEN REV 6, published on May 25, 2022, and consolidates policy updates into a new CJB. Below is a summary of the updates:
While in effect, to the extent that the guidance in this CJB differs from the HALLEX, follow the guidance in this CJB.
- Revised the Extension of Good Cause Provisions section instructing ALJs to exercise broad flexibility in determining whether good cause exists for missing the deadline to object to appearing by video teleconferencing (VTC).
- Removed instructions for issuing dismissals because that information is included in CJB 22-02 – Processing Failure to Appear and Untimely Filed Hearing Request Dismissals during the Coronavirus Disease 2019 (COVID-19) Pandemic.
Extension of Good Cause Provisions
For procedures related to untimely filed hearing requests or failure to appear for a scheduled hearing, see CJB 22-02 – Processing Failure to Appear and Untimely Filed Hearing Request Dismissals during the Coronavirus Disease 2019 (COVID-19) Pandemic.
ALJs must keep in mind that the COVID-19 pandemic may give rise to unusual, unexpected, and unavoidable circumstances beyond the claimant’s control that prevent the claimant from meeting certain hearing level deadlines, such as the deadline to object to appearing at a hearing by VTC (20 CFR 404.936(d); 416.1436(d)), the five-day deadline for submitting written evidence, or the 10-day deadline for requesting subpoenas. ALJs should be flexible in applying the good cause provisions set forth in 20 CFR 404.411, 404.935(b), 416.1411, and 416.1435(b).
For Continuing Disability Reviews (CDR) and Age 18 Redeterminations, there may be unusual or unavoidable circumstances in which claimants may find it difficult to submit a written statement for electing statutory benefit continuation (SBC) timely. Pursuant to POMS DI 12027.008B, for hearing requests filed after the 60-day appeal period, ALJs make the good cause finding for both the appeal and SBC request. Consistent with EM-20040 REV, when a field office (FO) receives an untimely SBC election for a hearing request filed after the appeal period, the FO will forward the late request to the appropriate HO’s desktop fax number. ALJs should also exercise maximum flexibility in determining whether good cause exists when a claimant requests SBC untimely due to the COVID-19 pandemic. Refer to Section C in EM-20040 REV for examples of when good cause can apply for COVID-19 related circumstances.
Hearing office personnel should direct any questions to their Regional Office. Regional Office personnel should contact the Division of Field Procedures in the Office of the Chief Administrative Law Judge.
20 CFR 404.935 and 416.1435 – Submitting written evidence to an administrative law judge
20 CFR 404.936 and 416.1436 – Time and place for a hearing before an administrative law judge
CJB 22-02 – Processing Failure to Appear and Untimely Filed Hearing Request Dismissals during the Coronavirus Disease 2019 (COVID-19) Pandemic
EM-20040 REV – Statutory Benefit Continuation (SBC) Requests during the COVID-19 National Public Health Emergency- Title II and Title XVI
POMS DI 12027.008B – Evaluating the Time Limits for Statutory Benefit Continuation (SBC)
CJB 22-03 - Extension of Good Cause Provisions Due to the Coronavirus Disease 2019 (COVID-19) Pandemic - 06/24/2022