42 U.S. Code § 1009 - Hearings and review
The Commissioner of Social Security shall make findings of fact and decisions as to the rights of any individual applying for payment under this subchapter. The Commissioner of Social Security shall provide reasonable notice and opportunity for a hearing to any individual who is or claims to be a qualified individual and is in disagreement with any determination under this subchapter with respect to entitlement to, or the amount of, benefits under this subchapter, if the individual requests a hearing on the matter in disagreement within 60 days after notice of the determination is received, and, if a hearing is held, shall, on the basis of evidence adduced at the hearing affirm, modify, or reverse the Commissioner of Social Security’s findings of fact and the decision. The Commissioner of Social Security may, on the Commissioner of Social Security’s own motion, hold such hearings and conduct such investigations and other proceedings as the Commissioner of Social Security deems necessary or proper for the administration of this subchapter. In the course of any hearing, investigation, or other proceeding, the Commissioner may administer oaths and affirmations, examine witnesses, and receive evidence. Evidence may be received at any hearing before the Commissioner of Social Security even though inadmissible under the rules of evidence applicable to court procedure. The Commissioner of Social Security shall specifically take into account any physical, mental, educational, or linguistic limitation of the individual (including any lack of facility with the English language) in determining, with respect to the entitlement of the individual for benefits under this subchapter, whether the individual acted in good faith or was at fault, and in determining fraud, deception, or intent.
A failure to timely request review of an initial adverse determination with respect to an application for any payment under this subchapter or an adverse determination on reconsideration of such an initial determination shall not serve as a basis for denial of a subsequent application for any payment under this subchapter if the applicant demonstrates that the applicant failed to so request such a review acting in good faith reliance upon incorrect, incomplete, or misleading information, relating to the consequences of reapplying for payments in lieu of seeking review of an adverse determination, provided by any officer or employee of the Social Security Administration.
In any notice of an adverse determination with respect to which a review may be requested under paragraph (1), the Commissioner of Social Security shall describe in clear and specific language the effect on possible entitlement to benefits under this subchapter of choosing to reapply in lieu of requesting review of the determination.