POMS Reference

GN 03104: Appeals Council Review (Title II and Entitlement Under Title XVIII)

TN 4 (04-01)


When a request for review of a hearing decision is filed, ODAR, Office of Appellate Operations (OAO) has jurisdiction. Therefore, the FO should not undertake any development unless requested to do so by OAO.


1. AC Requests Development

  1. Complete the development requested promptly.

  2. If development is not completed within 30 business days, fax (703) 605-7101 a status report to OAO stating what progress has been made, what remains to be done, and the expected date of completion. If none, fax to the attention of the OAO branch requesting the development.

  3. Request OAO authorization if obtaining requested evidence requires payment of a fee. OAO will instruct FO how to show authorization on the FO voucher.

  4. If the assistance of another FO is needed in the development, attach a copy of OAO's development request to a Form SSA-562 (Request for Assistance), to the appropriate FO, asking the FO to send the development directly to the AC. Make sure there is sufficient claimant identifying information on the material so it is not misdirected. Ask the FO to notify you when the development has been forwarded.

  5. Document your actions on DW01or MDW.

2. Subsequent Material, Information, or Correspondence Received After Request for Review Sent to AC

  1. When material is received after the request for review and the claims file is released to the AC, send to:

    OARO, Office of Appellate Operations (OAO)
    5107 Leesburg Pike, Falls Church, VA 22041-3255

    Notify the claimant that the material was received and forwarded to OAO.

    EXCEPTION: Send inquiries from members of Congress or material requiring immediate action to:

    Division of Congressional and Public Inquiries, OAO
    5107 Leesburg Pike, Fall Church VA 22041-3255
  2. When the material does not involve the issue before the AC:

    • Acknowledge receiving the correspondence and take necessary action, e.g., change of address or suspension of benefits for current employment or SE. Inform the OAO of changes of address.

    • If the claims file is needed to take the action, acknowledge the correspondence and respond fully when the folder is returned from the AC.

    • If immediate action is necessary, send the correspondence to the Division of Congressional and Public Inquiries asking that immediate action be taken or that the claims folder be returned so that the FO may take the immediate action.

  3. If additional evidence is received after the AC takes action, forward to the AC, e.g., AC dismissed the request for review but the 60-day time limit for filing a civil action has not expired.

  4. Material should be forwarded to the ALJ with jurisdiction of the case:

    • If the claimant did not file a request for review of the ALJ decision or dismissal;

    • If the claimant filed a request for review but the AC dismissed it for any reason other than claimant's death; or

    • The claimant filed a request for review but the AC denied it and the 60-day period for filing a civil action has expired.