These instructions apply to all processing centers (PC); i.e., all program service centers (PSC), INTPSC and ODO.
When the PC questions an ALJ or Attorney Advisor’s decision or finds that the decision is impossible to effectuate, the Office Appellate Operations (OAO) must be asked to clarify the decision. A written referral to OAO is called a “PROTEST”.
Protest referrals must be sent to the AC in time for the AC to take on its on own motion review within 60 days of the ALJ decision, otherwise payments must be made.
Field Office (FO) need not question ALJ or Attorney Advisor decisions since the PC's review those decisions for errors before implementation. However, if the FO feels the need to question a decision, they will send a memorandum to the appropriate PC, Attention: Reconsideration Branch for possible referral to OAO. Diary all cases referred for 50 days from the date of the ALJ decision.
All “protest” referrals questioning an ALJ’s medical decision, or involving non-disability problems e.g., possible reopening of prior application, insured status not met, or work in period ruled on whether the official claim folder is paper or electronic, the protesting component must email the memorandum to ^DCARO OAO Protest Cases, as soon as possible.
If the claim(s) file is paper, in addition to emailing the protest memorandum to OAO, the protesting component will add the protest memorandum to the paper claim(s) file. It will then immediately forward via UPS two-day delivery the claim(s) file and any relevant materials to the address below:
OAO QRB 1
5107 Leesburg Pike
Falls Church, VA 22041
DO NOT OPEN IN MAILROOM.
Refer to DI 42010.070 and DI 42010.075 for instructions on how to prepare a case for “protest” to OAO.
If a disability decision cannot be effectuated due to a clerical error in the ALJ or Attorney Advisor decision, follow the procedures in DI 42010.075 to telephone the Hearing Office Director in the issuing hearing office.
ODO and the PSC/INTPSC will not send copies of disability issue “protest” memoranda to Central Office.
NOTE: For case control, the OAO office code is LF6.