Comments/Notes on Adjudication Structure:
The name Departmental Appeals Board is used to refer to two entities: (1) the decision-making body consisting of Board Members, appointed by the Secretary, who issue decisions made by panels of three Board Members; and (2) the larger organization, located within the Office of the Secretary, which includes the Board, Administrative Law Judges (ALJs), Administrative Appeals Judges who serve on the Medicare Appeals Council, and organizational divisions that support the judges and other administrative functions. The term Board is used to refer to the decision-making body and the acronym DAB to refer to the larger organization.
The Appellate Division of the DAB provides staff support for the Board Members, who are career civil servants appointed by the Secretary to provide an impartial, independent review of disputes arising in a wide range of HHS programs. The Board's jurisdiction arises from the Board's "charter" at 45 C.F.R. Part 16, program statutes, regulations, and delegations by the Secretary or heads of HHS operating components. The Board provides de novo review (which may include an evidentiary hearing) of certain types of final decisions of HHS operating components, such as determinations in discretionary, project grant programs and determinations in mandatory grant programs.
The Board also provides appellate review of certain types of ALJ decisions, which may be appealed by either party. These include most types of decisions of ALJs assigned to the DAB, decisions of Food and Drug Administration ALJs regarding civil money penalties, and decisions of Department of the Interior ALJs in Indian Health Service contract/compact cases.
In most cases, the Board decision is the final administrative decision of HHS.