A reopening is a formal review of a determination or decision where an error is involved,
or where a reevaluation of the evidence used in a prior determination or decision
has occurred, provided the determination to be reopened has not exceeded the timeframes
of administrative finality.
For policy on applying the rules of administrative finality, see Rules for Reopening
The DDS considers the reopening question and prepares a new or revised determination,
as appropriate; although the following offices may have prepared the prior determination:
the Processing Center (PC);
the Field Office (FO); or
the Disability Quality Branch (DQB).
If reopening is required on the basis of “new and material evidence,” and a new application
has not been filed, the DDS in the State where the claimant currently resides has
NOTE: The DDS does not reopen or revise Administrative Law Judge (ALJ) or Appeals Council
1. Certified Electronic Folder (CEF) process
Process CEFs according to the instructions in Processing Reopenings DI 81020.115 and Processing Medical Reactivations DI 81020.117.
2. Modular Disability Folder (MDF) process
Process MDFs according to the instructions in DI 27500.000
3. Additional medical evidence
If you receive additional medical evidence after releasing the folder:
For CEFs, see Processing Trailer Material for the Certified Electronic Folder DI 81020.140.
DI 27500.000 – Reopenings, Adoptions, and Refilings.