20 CFR § 650.1 - Nature and purpose of the standard.
(a) This standard is responsive to the overriding concern of the U.S. Supreme Court in California Department of Human Resources v. Java, 402 U.S. 121 (1971), and that of other courts with delay in payment of unemployment compensation to eligible individuals, including delays caused specifically by the adjudication process. The standard seeks to assure that all administrative appeals affecting benefit rights are heard and decided with the greatest promptness that is administratively feasible.
(b) Sections 303(a) (1) and (3) of the Social Security Act require, as a condition for the receipt of granted funds, that State laws include provisions for methods of administration reasonably calculated to insure full payment of unemployment compensation when due, and opportunity for a fair hearing for all individuals whose claims for unemployment compensation are denied. The Secretary has construed these provisions to require, as a condition for receipt of granted funds, that State laws include provisions for hearing and deciding appeals for all unemployment insurance claimants who are parties to an administrative benefit appeal with the greatest promptness that is administratively feasible. What is the greatest promptness that is administratively feasible in an individual case depends on the facts and circumstances of that case. For example, the greatest promptness that is administratively feasible will be longer in cases that involve interstate appeals, complex issues of fact or law, reasonable requests by parties for continuances or rescheduling of hearings or other unforeseen and uncontrollable factors than it will be for other cases.
(c) In addition, the Secretary has construed section 303(b)(2) of the Social Security Act as requiring States to comply substantially with the required provisions of State law. The Secretary considers as substantial compliance the issuance of minimum percentages of first level benefit appeal decisions within the periods of time specified in § 650.4.
(d) Although the interpretation of Federal law requirements in § 650.3 below applies to both first and second level administrative benefit appeals, the criteria for review of State compliance in § 650.3(b) apply only to first level benefit appeals.