From the Private Attorney Forum (published here with permission of the author.)
I just had three attempts to withdraw a hearing request denied. ODAR said my language wasn’t specific enough. Finally a claims rep there had mercy on me and told me what was wrong. They said that in January they had training on dismissals / withdrawal of hearing requests. The Appeals Council got flooded with claimant’s claiming their case was dismissed without their knowledge, or that they didn’t understanding the effect of withdrawing the hearing request. The AC is remanding a lot of cases because they don’t like the specific letter reps are using. She read me some of the training, and it said they are getting so picky about specific language because 1) interests of claimant must be protected, and 2) the HALLEX requires it.
They said there are two required lines, and she read them to me verbatim.
“The claimant wishes to withdraw their Request for Hearing” and “The effect of withdrawal has been specifically discussed with the client and the client understands the effect.”
Also, the AC issued a specific instruction on cases in which you are amending the Alleged Onset Date to after the Date Last Insured (since this effectively withdraws the Title II application) . The amendment letter must say:
“The claimant wishes to amend their Alleged Onset Date” and “The effect of withdrawing the Title II application has been specifically discussed with the client and the client understands the effect.”
I’m still thinking about this one, and there could be problems I haven’t thought of yet with the amended AOD language, but I’m definitely using the withdrawal of hearing request language.
Also, be sure an attorney or someone with a 1696 signs the letter.