Identification Number:
CJB 21-01 REV 3
Intended Audience:All Office of Hearings Operations (OHO) Personnel
Originating Office:Office of the Chief Administrative Law Judge
Title:Updated Business Process for the Electronic Non Medical (ENM)
Type:Chief Judge Bulletins
Program:All Programs
Link To Reference:See References at the end of this CJB.
 
Retention Date: August 24, 2022

Descriptive Summary: This Chief Judge Bulletin updates instructions in CJB 21-01 REV 2, published on December 22, 2021.

Below is a summary of the updates to this Chief Judge Bulletin (CJB):
      · Added a section on Untimely Filing Reviews: when a claimant untimely files a request for hearing for a Title II only claim, the Special Review Cadre (SRC) will send the case to the local hearing office (HO) for an administrative law judge (ALJ) to assess whether the claimant had good cause. If the ALJ finds good cause, the HO will prepare and adjudicate the case per the Electronic Non Medical (ENM) Application Business Process. If the ALJ does not find good cause, then the ALJ will dismiss the request for hearing. The HO retains jurisdiction and processes dismissal per HALLEX I-2-4-15 C.

    Revised Emergency Message (EM) Published

    On July 2, 2021, ENM was updated to include central print functionality for non-decisional notices and fully favorable decisions. HOs and the SRC should centrally print these documents. Batch notice templates are not available for non-decisional notices. Additionally, central print is NOT available for partially favorable or unfavorable decisions. HOs and the SRC should continue to locally print and mail these decisional documents.

    On August 20, 2021, Operations published a revised EM that provides instructions for processing cases during the COVID-19 pandemic (EM-20010 SEN REV 8). These revised instructions allow FOs to resume sending paper DIB cases to the local HOs. HOs will review SHOP section 1.4.2.5 and convert paper DIB cases to electronic cases whenever possible. When conversion to an electronic case is not possible, HOs will scan the paper DIB case into ENM. HOs may also send paper DIB cases to a contract scanner if they choose. The contract scanner is not allowed to access the Federal tax information in the Informational/Certified Earnings Records (ICERS), Detailed Earnings Query (DEQY), Summary Earnings Query (SEQY), and National Directory of New Hire, Wage, and Unemployment Query (NDNH) (collectively referred to as the “earnings queries”). Therefore, before sending paper DIB cases to a contact scanner, HOs must remove the earnings queries, if any, from the paper claim files. HOs will return the earnings queries, if any, or add new earnings queries, if needed, to the paper claim files and upload them to ENM only after the contract scanner returns the paper claim files. To add new queries, HO staff will pull queries from the Personal Communications (PCOM) system, print to PDF, redact the personally identifiable information (PII) of other individuals, if any, save to a local drive, and use the ENM upload feature to add to the file. See SHOP section 3.2.9. The ENM Business Process explains in more detail how to use a contract scanner and how to upload queries. As the paper claim file remains the “official” record of the case, HOs are responsible for reassembling and/or printing a paper copy of the record and closing the case after a disposition is issued.

    On August 23, 2021, Operations published a revised EM that provides updated instructions to FOs and PCs on transferring pending non-medical appeals in ENM to OHO and the Office of Appellate Operations (OAO) (EM-21000 SEN REV 4). If HOs receive emails that include an HA-501 Request for Hearing by Administrative Law Judge, they should reply to the FO/PC and remind them that they should establish the case in ENM and follow the procedures outlined in EM-21000 SEN REV 4.

    EM-21000 SEN REV 4 also instructs FOs/PCs to send all non-DIB cases (except for class action cases) to the SRC. The FOs/PCs will send all class action non-DIB cases to the local HO. The SRC will receipt in and prepare all cases received from the FO/PC. After preparing the cases, the SRC will transfer all Title II only cases to the local HO for the HO to schedule, hear, and adjudicate. After the case is prepared, the SRC will also transfer to the local HO any non-DIB cases in which the claimant requires an in-person hearing (having submitted a timely declination of traditional video (VTC) and having declined both telephone and online video hearing (OVH) options). For foreign non-DIB claims, the Office of the Chief Administrative Law Judge (OCALJ) will continue to follow the procedures outlined in HALLEX I-2-0-72 and assign these claims to local HOs.

    Untimely Filing Reviews

    For ENM cases in which a claimant untimely requested a hearing, an ALJ must review the relevant documents and evaluate for good cause (HALLEX I-2-0-60 and CJB 19-04 SEN REV 4). For cases the SRC retains for adjudication (section 1.b of the ENM Business Process), SRC ALJs will conduct this untimely filing review. The SRC will transfer Title II only cases with untimely filed hearing requests to the claimant's jurisdictional HO for the good cause determination. The SRC will continue to process untimely filed hearing requests for Title XVI and concurrent cases. The SRC will notify the HO via email when this transfer occurs. If the ALJ finds good cause, the HO will retain, prepare, and adjudicate the case (section 1.c.v. of the ENM Business Process). If the ALJ does not find good cause, then the ALJ will dismiss the request for hearing. The HO will retain jurisdiction and process the dismissal per HALLEX I-2-4-15 C. If HO staff has questions about using ENM to process non-disability cases that local HO management cannot resolve, local HO management should send those questions to: OHO.ENM.SSI.Non.Dib.Hearings@ssa.gov.

    The ENM Business Process includes all of these updates and is located on the OCALJ COVID-19 Guidance and Resources webpage under the “ENM Resources” tab. You can also find additional ENM training resources here.

    Reminders
      · While ENM allows us to internally process paper cases electronically, the paper claim file for both DIB and non-DIB cases remains the “official” record of the case. ENM simply functions as a parallel electronic repository for paper cases. After a disposition is issued, hearing offices are responsible for reassembling and/or printing a paper copy of the record and closing the case. During COVID-19, hearing offices should hold in their offices until further notice the paper DIB claim files for cases with dismissal orders or unfavorable decisions and all paper non-DIB claim files. Hearing offices should mail the paper DIB claim files for cases with favorable (partially favorable or fully favorable) decisions per HALLEX I-2-1-10 and SHOP section 6.4.2.

      · Upload the Digital Recording and Processing System (DRAP) recordings of file hearings to ENM. DRAP Release 9.2 includes a new ENM hearing checkbox that automatically generates a Digital Recording ID to upload the hearing recording to the ENM application. Upon case closure, burn a CD of the recording and file it in the official paper file.
      · ENM will be used for newly receipted non-DIB cases, pending non-DIB cases, which have not been worked up yet, and paper DIB cases, which cannot be converted to electronic cases (CJB 19-04 SEN REV 4).

        · Before using ENM for paper DIB cases, review SHOP section 1.4.2.5 and try to convert any paper cases to electronic cases in eView following the instructions in the linked guides. When conversion to electronic cases is not possible, scan the paper DIB cases into ENM, either in the hearing office or by sending them to a contract scanner, depending on staffing availability. HO staff must remove earnings queries from the claim file prior to sending to a contract scanner. Upon return of the file to the HO, staff must re-add the queries to the paper claim file, which remains the official record of the case.
        · Non-DIB cases which were previously scanned into the Claims File User Interface (CFUI) will continue to be processed in CFUI and will not be added to ENM.

      Direct all program-related and technical questions to your Regional Office support staff. Regional Office support staff may refer questions or unresolved issues to their headquarters’ contacts in OCALJ.

      References:

      CJB 19-04 SEN REV 4 - Changes to the Hearing Process Due to the Coronavirus Disease 2019 (COVID-19) Pandemic

      EM-20010 SEN REV 8 - Disaster Procedures – Coronavirus Disease 2019 (COVID-19) Pandemic – One Time Instruction

      EM-21000 SEN REV 4 - Instructions for Sending Non-Medical Appeals (NMA) to the Office of Hearings Operations (OHO) and Office of Appellate Operations (OAO) using Electronic Non-Medical (ENM) application’s Create, Upload, and Transfer of Jurisdiction Functionality

      SHOP section 1.4.2.5 - Ensure the Case is Truly a CEF

      SHOP section 3.2.9 - Obtain Updated Queries

      SHOP section 6.4.2 - Procedures for Closing Decisions and Dismissals

      HALLEX I-2-0-60 - Good Cause for Late Filing

      HALLEX I-2-0-72 - Assigning and Processing Requests for Hearing Filed by Claimants Who Do Not Reside in the United States.

      HALLEX I-2-1-10 - Claim(s) File

      HALLEX I-2-4-15 C - Untimely Hearing Request, Evaluating Good Cause

      Electronic Non Medical Desk Guides

      OCALJ COVID-19 Guidance and Resources


      CJB 21-01 REV 3 - Updated Business Process for the Electronic Non Medical (ENM) - 2/24/2022