Identification Number:
EM - 19019
Intended Audience:All RCs/ARCs/ADs/FOs/PSCs/OCO/OCO-CSTs/DDSs
Originating Office:DCO OPSOS
Title:Field Office Instructions for use of the EDCS Collateral Estoppel case flag “Potential Collateral Estoppel Issues Apply”
Type:EM - Emergency Messages
Program:Title II (RSI); Title XVI (SSI); Disability
Link To Reference:See References at the end of this EM
Retention Date: 12/28/2019

A. Purpose

This emergency message (EM) provides instructions to all field office (FO) technicians to use the Collateral Estoppel EDCS flag titled “Potential Collateral Estoppel Issues Apply”.

B. Background

On 02/14/2019, we instructed all FO technicians to stop making collateral estoppel disability determinations and to refer all subsequent disability claims to the DDS for their consideration on whether collateral estoppel applies or if a full medical determination is required. On 03/11/2019, the EDCS flag for potential collateral estoppel cases was added to the electronic folder flag list.

C. FO Instructions
    Technicians should always add the new collateral estoppel EDCS case flag when there is an existing disability allowance decision and the new subsequent disability claim may be subject to the rules of collateral estoppel. It is imperative to add this flag in EDCS to alert DDS of the potential collateral estoppel issue and that full development of medical evidence may not be necessary. A claim that contains a collateral estoppel flag should not be interpreted as a collateral estoppel determination. The flag serves as an alert for the DDS to consider the potential collateral estoppel issues when making a determination.

    Effective with the date of this EM, all FO technicians are instructed to add the collateral estoppel flag in EDCS titled “Potential Collateral Estoppel Issues Apply” when sending a new subsequent disability claim to DDS and the claimant is currently entitled to disability benefits.

    Note: Technicians are no longer required to document the SSA-3367 with remarks “Potential Collateral Estoppel Issues Apply”, nor are they required to add the message in EDCS: “Existing favorable decision on (T2 or T16) dated MM/DD/YY. Collateral Estoppel does not apply”.

    Once the flag is added, do not remove it unless the flag was added erroneously (e.g. claimant is not currently entitled to disability benefits). The flag should remain on the folder at all times, including at case closure and for determinations where DDS decides not to apply collateral estoppel.

    Direct all program-related and technical questions to your Regional Office (RO) support staff or Program Service Center (PSC) Operations Analysis (OA) staff. RO support staff or PSC OA staff may refer questions, concerns or problems to their Central Office contacts.

    AM-18029 REV - Collateral Estoppel and the Revised Mental and Immune System Disorders Listings
    DI 81010.080 - Alerts, Flags, and Messages in the Electronic Disability Collect System (EDCS)
    DI 20505.010 - Disability Determination Services (DDS) Locates a Prior Paper Folder
    DI 11011.001 - Collateral Estoppel – General
    DI 27515.001 - Collateral Estoppel – General
    GN 04040.020 - Collateral Estoppel

    EM - 19019 - Field Office Instructions for use of the EDCS Collateral Estoppel case flag “Potential Collateral Estoppel Issues Apply” - 06/28/2019