20 CFR 260.9 - Final appeal from a decision of the hearings officer.

§ 260.9 Final appeal from a decision of the hearings officer.

(a)General. Every appellant shall have a right to a final appeal to the Railroad Retirement Board from any decision of a hearings officer by which he or she claims to be aggrieved.

(b)Appeal from decision of hearings officer. Final appeal from a decision of a hearings officer shall be made by the execution and filing of the final appeal form prescribed by the Board. Such appeal must be filed with the Board within 60 days from the date upon which notice of the decision of the hearings officer is mailed to the appellant at the last address furnished by him or her. Any written request stating an intent to appeal which is received within the 60-day period will protect the claimant's right to appeal, Provided that the claimant files the appeal form within the later of the 60-day period following the date of the hearing officer's decision, or the 30-day period following the date of the letter sending the form to the claimant.

(c)Timely filing. The right to further review of a decision of a hearings officer shall be forfeited unless formal final appeal is filed in the manner and within the time prescribed in § 260.9(b). However, when a claimant fails to file an appeal before the Board within the time prescribed in this section, the Board may waive this requirement if, along with the final appeal form, the appellant in writing requests an extension of time. The request for an extension of time must give the reasons why the final appeal form was not filed within the time limit prescribed in this section. If in the judgment of the Board the reasons given establish that the appellant had good cause for not filing the final appeal form within the time prescribed, the Board will consider the appeal to have been filed in a timely manner. The Board will use the standards found in § 260.3(d) of this chapter in determining if good cause exists.

(d)Delay in the commencement of recovery of erroneous payment. Where a timely appeal seeking waiver of recovery of an erroneous payment has been filed with the three-member Board, the Board shall not commence recovery of the erroneous payment by suspension or reduction of a monthly benefit payable by the Board until a decision with respect to such appeal seeking waiver has been made and notice thereof has been mailed to the claimant.

(e)Submission of additional evidence. Upon final appeal to the Board, the appellant shall not have the right to submit additional evidence. However, the Board may grant a request to submit new evidence where new and material evidence is available that, despite due diligence, was not available before the decision of the hearings officer was issued. The Board may also obtain new evidence on its own motion. Upon admission of new evidence, the Board, at its discretion, may:

(1) Vacate the decision of the hearings officer and remand the case to the Bureau of Hearings and Appeals for issuance of a new decision. The decision of the hearings officer on remand may be appealed to the Board in the manner described in paragraph (b) of this section; or

(2) Return the case to the hearings officer for further consideration with direction to submit a recommended decision to the Board.

(f)Decision of the Board. The decision of the Board shall be made upon the record of evidence developed by the hearings officer and any additional evidence admitted pursuant to paragraph (e) of this section. The appellant may submit additional argument in writing with the appeal to the Board. The appellant shall have no right to an oral presentation before the Board except where the Board so permits. Such presentation shall be limited in form, subject matter, length, and time as the Board may indicate to the appellant.

(g)Issuance of decision. The Board shall make every effort to issue a decision within 90 days after the later of:

(1) The date the final appeal is filed;

(2) The date new or better evidence is obtained in accordance with § 260.9(d) and the appellant has commented on it;

(3) The date new or better evidence is obtained in accordance with § 260.9(d) and after the close of the comment period;

(4) The date further argument submitted in accordance with § 260.9(e) is received; or

(5) The date the record is returned to the Board following referral back to the hearings officer.

(h)Review of decisions rendered prior to appeal to Board. The Board may, on its own motion, review or cause to be reviewed any decision issued by a subordinate official or employee under this part.

(The information collection requirements contained in paragraph (b) were approved by the Office of Management and Budget under control number 3220-0007)
[ 47 FR 36809, Aug. 24, 1982, as amended at 50 FR 19523, May 9, 1985; 52 FR 11017, Apr. 6, 1987; 67 FR 77155, Dec. 17, 2002; 68 FR 6820, Feb. 11, 2003]

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