The following chart is derived from Appendix D of the OIG report “The Office of Disability Adjudication and Review’s Hearings Backlog and Processing Times”, dated June, 2011. It contains the major benchmarks in processing cases within the hearing offices.

 

The descriptions have been supplemented by those found in another OIG report “Management’s Use of Workload Status Reports at Hearing Offices”, dated March 26, 2007. It describes those stages tracked by the “No Status Change Report” with better detail than the 2011 report. The benchmark days in the 2007 report, however, are no longer accurate.

 

These benchmarks are by no means a guarantee, but we hope they will help our members understand where their case is in the hearing process.

 

Case Processing & Management System (CPMS) Stage Benchmark (Calendar Days) Description
Master Docket 21 Receipt of Claim file through auto establish in CPMS. (Note from 2007 report: The hearing office may or may not have the claim file. No action is taken on the claim other than to log it into CPMS)
Pre-hearing and Post-hearing  - Prior Files 28 Requests for prior files. (Note from 2007 report: If any information is requested prior to a hearing, including a prior filing, the claim is placed in this status until the information is received)
Pre-Hearing and Post-Hearing Medical Evidence of Record (MER) 21 Requests for MER from treating sources. (Note from 2007 report: The claim is assigned to a senior case technician for preparing exhibits and medical summaries.)
Pre-Hearing and Post-hearing - Consultive Examinations 21 21 days to be sure the CE is scheduled and…
63 63 days to be sure the CE report is received at the hearing office.
Temporary Transfer 42 Case transferred to other hearing offices for case preparation or decision drafting should be completed and returned to the original hearing office within 42 days
Decision Writer Review (Unpulled File Review) 7 Pre-hearing review by ALJ, Senior Attorney Advisor, Attorney Advisor, or Paralegal
Work-up 7 Assembly/development/analysis
ALJ Review - Pre-Hearing 7 ALJ Review (pre-scheduling)
Ready to Schedule   (Note from 2007 report: When all workup, pre-development, and contact has been completed, the claim is ready to schedule for a hearing. - Benchmark in 2007 was 60 days
ALJ - Post Hearing Review 7 ALJ Review (post-hearing) (Note from 2007 report: The hearing was held and the ALJ is examining the record either after the hearing, after POST development has been received, or any other time ater the hearing, but prior to the writing and review of the decision.)
Pre-hearing and Post-hearing  - Prior Files 28 Requests for prior files. (Note from 2007 report: The hearing was held and additional development was requested)
Pre-Hearing and Post-Hearing Medical Evidence of Record (MER) 21 Requests for MER from treating sources. (Note from 2007 report: The hearing was held and additional development was requested)
Pre-Hearing and Post-hearing - Consultive Examinations 21 21 days to be sure the CE is scheduled and…
63 63 days to be sure the CE report is received at the hearing office.
ALJ Writing Decision/Assigned Writer 14 ALJ drafting decision
OR
Decision Writer Writing Decision 7 Drafting decision by senior attorney adjudicator/attorney assistant/paralegal assistant
Edit 7 Editing decision by ALJ/senior attorney adjudicator/attorney assistant/paralegal assistant drafting decision
Corrections 7 Typographical corrections to be corrected on ALJ decision
Sign 1 Case in the ALJ's office waiting final review and signature
Mail 1 Awaiting mailing of ALJ decision