This section provides instruction on how to use the website and easily find available information. To learn more about the Federal Administrative Adjudication study, or to find information on relevant terms and study methodology, please see the Frequently Asked Questions page.
The website provides several ways to find information. If there is a specific agency, office, or adjudication scheme that you would like to find, you can use the “Search” box in the upper right hand corner of the site. You can search using either the entire search phrase (e.g., "Social Security Administration"), or a partial phrase (e.g., "Social Security"). Otherwise, you can browse the site by clicking on the “Agencies,” “Schemes,” or “Offices” links toward the top of the page, under the ACUS seal. The links lead to the same information, but provide different ways to find it.
For instance, if you would like to find information about the adjudications conducted within a particular agency, click the “Agencies” link. The “Agencies” page allows you to browse through an alphabetical list of agency names or use the search boxes to search by agency name or abbreviation. Both the “Agency” and “Agency Abbreviation” search boxes allow you to search for partial terms (for example, typing “SS” in the Agency Abbreviation box will return several agencies, including the Selective Service System (SSS) and the Social Security Administration (SSA)). Click on the name of the agency to learn more about the types of adjudications it conducts. After you click on the name of an agency, you will find additional links to the offices within that agency that conduct adjudication, and to each adjudication "scheme" conducted by that agency.
Similarly, you can use the “Offices” page or the “Schemes” page to navigate directly to a particular office or adjudication scheme. The “Offices” page allows you to search for an office either by the office name or by the name of the parent agency. The “Schemes” page offers several search options. You can again search by agency name, or if you know the "scheme code," you can search directly for the scheme. In addition, you can search for major adjudications or minor adjudications, or search for schemes that have been verified by the relevant agency. Finally, you can select the adjudication type – Type A, Type B, Other, or Unknown. To select multiple types of adjudication, hold down the “Ctrl” key while making your selections. You can select multiple filters at once – for example, you can search for a major adjudication that has also been verified by the agency. Make your selections, then hit the “apply” button to see your results.
When searching using the “Agencies,” “Schemes,” or “Offices” pages, after you have made your selections and hit “apply,” you can download a .csv file of your results. Scroll to the bottom of the page, and click the button marked “csv.” You will be able to open the file in Excel.
Tip: Most columns in the “Agencies,” “Schemes,” and “Offices” pages are sortable. If you click the title of the column, you can sort the contents of that column alphabetically.
Tip: You can always navigate to the website’s home page by clicking the ACUS seal or the “Adjudication Research” title at the top of the page.
When you identify a scheme of interest, click on the scheme's title to navigate to the scheme's main page. The page provides important information about the scheme, including a description of the scheme and a chart containing the scheme’s adjudication offices. For instance, if the scheme contains a hearing level and an appeal level, both the "hearing office" and the "appeal office" will be listed in the chart. For certain schemes, if you scroll toward the bottom of the page, you can find a list of related schemes (e.g., those adjudicated by the same hearing office), or links to additional resources and articles about the scheme. Finally, you can find whether the scheme has been verified by the agency and whether the scheme has been classified as “Major.”
In the upper right-hand portion of the page, you can find links to all of the pages that are “Related to this Scheme” – for most schemes, these links will include a “Hearing Level Procedures” page and at least one “Case Type” page. Some schemes will have many case types, and some will also include one or more “Appeal Level Procedures” pages.
Hearing Level Procedures – Once you navigate to this page, you can click on each heading (e.g., “Adjudication Structure”) to view information about that subject. Click the heading a second time to hide the information. On the upper right-hand side of the page, you can also click “Open all Tabs” to view all available hearing-level information about that scheme. The amount of available information varies; some schemes have detailed information - either provided by the agency or available on the agency's website or in its regulations - while other schemes have much less information available. Note that at the bottom of the page, you can check to see whether the information on the Hearing Level Procedures page has been verified by the agency.
Appeal Level Procedures – If a scheme has one or more appeals levels, links to the Appeal Level Procedures page(s) can be found in the list of links “Related to this Scheme” on the scheme’s main page. An Appellate Level Procedures page operates just like the Hearing Level Procedures page, and contains similar information.
Case Type – Almost every scheme has a link to at least one “Case Type.” The Case Type page provides information on legal and regulatory authorities and relief available, and provides descriptions of each case type. The answers to both the “Program Area” and the “Relief Available” fields were selected from lists. Agency representatives could select multiple types of relief, if appropriate.
Tip: Most scheme pages can be accessed via acus.law.stanford.edu/scheme/schemecode (e.g., https://acus.law.stanford.edu/scheme/ssaobene0001) , where “schemecode” refers to the scheme’s 12 character code (eight letters followed by four numbers). If you find yourself returning to the same scheme multiple times, this is a way to navigate to the scheme directly.
The website also contains a number of reports that summarize some of the data collected by this project. The reports can be found in two places: they can be accessed by clicking on the link at the top of the page, under the ACUS seal and “Adjudication Research” title, or individual reports can be accessed directly by clicking on the appropriate report title on the left-hand side of the screen.
Most of the reports have the same format. After clicking on the name of the report, there are a number of options at the top of the page that you can use to determine which schemes or other information to display. For example, in the “Representation of Private Parties” report, you can select the adjudication level, whether or not private parties may have representation, and several other categories. You can make selections in any combination, then hit “Apply.” Only the results that match all criteria you selected will display. Once you have narrowed your results, you can further arrange how the results display: most of the columns are sortable. Click the title of the column (e.g. “Agency” or “Office Name”), and the results will sort alphabetically according to that column. Click the title a second time to display the information in reverse alphabetical order.
You can also download the reports to your computer. At the bottom of each report page, there is a button marked “xls” or “csv.” Click the button to download the report; you will be able to open the downloaded document in Excel. Note that if you have added filters to the report, only the results that display will be downloaded in the .xls or .csv file. If you would like to download the entire report, make sure to clear any filters first.