TN 16 (11-23)

GN 03106.025 Filing of a Complaint


When a court action is filed against SSA, the U.S. Attorney from the judicial district that received Service of Process (See GN 03106.020B.) will notify OGC and the Office of Hearings Operations (OHO), Office of Appellate Operations (OAO). SSA generally has 60 days to file a response to the complaint with the court, unless a local rule adopted by the judicial district where the complaint was filed provides differently. SSA may also request, and the court may grant, an extension of time to file a response to the complaint.

In order to determine what SSA's response to the complaint should be, the OHO will retrieve the claim folder(s). A copy of the complaint must be filed on the left side of the folder or in the Yellow (Front) section of the MDF. After reviewing the file, OHO will provide OGC with one of the following:

  • Copies of the administrative record to support the filing of an answer to the complaint; or

  • An affidavit in support of a motion to dismiss on jurisdictional grounds (e.g., claimant failed to exhaust administrative remedies, failed to file the complaint timely or did not receive a decision on the merits of his/her claim); or

  • A memorandum requesting that the court remand the claim to SSA.

OHO will then return the Title II claim folder(s) to the appropriate PC. Title XVI claim folder(s) will be forwarded to the servicing FO waiting for the court to issue an order and judgment in the case.

NOTE: Upon receipt of the claim folder, FOs must update the UAPU screen from the APPE segment on the SSR in non-MSSICS cases (see MSOM BUSSR 002.009) and the ACAD screen for MSSICS cases (see MSOM MSSICS 020.004) to reflect an appeal pending at the court level (appeal type "4" for court case).

Also, if the FO receives trailer material; i.e., documentation that was not used by the AC or the ALJ when making the final decision that is being reviewed by the court, and the court case is:

  • Title II or concurrent, the FO should forward the trailer material to the PC; or

  • Title XVI only;

the PC/FO will create a temporary folder for the documentation until the claim folder(s) is returned by OHO.


If the PC/FO receives a SSA-831 that requires benefit effectuation because a new application was filed and allowed, see GN 03106.090, be sure both OGC and OHO are notified of the subsequent allowance by memorandum as required in GN 03106.095B.5.c.

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GN 03106.025 - Filing of a Complaint - 11/29/2023
Batch run: 11/29/2023