Other Fields
Agency Scheme: 
Appeal Level One
Appeals: Basic Structure
Appeal Office (local name): 
Benefits Review Board (BRB)
Office of the Deputy Secretary of Labor
Appeal Officer #1 (Title): 
BRB Board Member
Are administrative appeals permitted from final decisions issued by this appellate office?: 
Comments/Notes on Adjudication Structure: 
The Department of Labor’s Benefits Review Board (BRB) was created by Congress in 1972 to review appeals of administrative law judges’ decisions arising under the Black Lung Benefits Act, Title IV of the Coal Mine Health and Safety Act, 30 U.S.C. §901 et seq., and the Longshore and Harbor Workers’ Compensation Act, 33 U.S.C. §901 et seq., and its extensions, including the Outer Continental Shelf Lands Act, 43 U.S.C. §1331 et seq., the Defense Base Act, 42 U.S.C. §1651 et seq., and the Nonappropriated Fund Instrumentalities Act, 5 U.S.C. §8171 et seq. The Board has authority to resolve appeals under these statutes, filed by any party-in-interest, which raise a substantial question of law or fact, and it reviews the decisions of administrative law judges in order to determine whether the findings are supported by substantial evidence and are in accordance with law. The Board’s decisions may be appealed to the U.S. Courts of Appeals in the circuit where the injury arose, and from there to the U.S. Supreme Court. The Board, by statute, consists of five Members appointed by the Secretary of Labor, one of whom is designated as Chairman and Chief Administrative Appeals Judge. Regulations concerning the BRB's establishment, operation, and rules of practice and procedure are at 20 CFR Parts 801 and 802.
PROCESS & PROCEDURE - General Information
Which party (or parties) is/are permitted to file appeals with this office?: 
Are private parties permitted to have representation at appeal hearings?: 
Yes (All Types of Cases)
Who may serve as a private party representative?: 
About what percentage of private parties were represented at hearings (FY2013)?: 
Is the agency permitted to have representation at appeal hearings?: 
Yes (All Types of Cases)
Who may serve as an agency representative?: 
Are ex parte contacts prohibited?: 
Yes (All Types of Cases)
Regulations/rules of practice for appeal hearings (please include CFR citations): 
20 CFR Part 802
Other published guidance for appeal hearings (if any): 
The BRB has issued, and makes available online, the Black Lung Desk Book and the Longshore Desk Book. These are intended to be research tools and are not intended as final legal authority (20 CFR § 802.211(b)). The BRB's published decisions are contained, along with digests, in the Black Lung Reporter, published by Juris, or the Longshore Reporter, published by LexisNexis. All final BRB decisions are available on the Department of Labor website.
PROCESS & PROCEDURE - Hearing Procedure
What types of hearings are permitted on appeals adjudicated by this office?: 
Written (Document-Only) Hearing
Please provide the approximate percentage of each type of hearing relative to the total number of appeal hearings (FY2013)
Written (Document-Only) Hearing: 
How is the type of hearing selected for appeals heard by this office?: 
By Agency
Depends on Nature of Case/Claim
If "Depends on Nature of Case/Claim", please describe: 
The BRB does not conduct a de novo review. It reviews the findings of fact and conclusions of law in ALJ decisions under the specific set of statutes within the scope of BRB authorized review (20 CFR § 801.102), and parties may not submit new evidence to the BRB (20 CFR § 802.301). A party may request an oral argument or the Board may order an oral argument on its own motion (20 CFR § 802.305). Granting or denying a request for oral argument is solely within the discretion of the BRB.
How many appeal officers preside at each hearing?: 
Varies by Case
If "Varies by Case," please describe: 
The BRB has five members appointed by the Secretary of Labor. The Board may delegate any or all of its powers except en banc review to panels of three members (20 CFR § 801.301). The BRB Chairman may request that the Secretary designate up to four DOL ALJs to serve as temporary Board members, for not more than one year, in addition to the five permanent members (20 CFR § 801.201(d)).
Is factual development permitted at the appellate hearing as a means of supplementing the record from below?: 
Can third-parties submit amicus briefs and/or evidence?: 
Are appeal hearings recorded and/or transcribed?: 
N/A (Document-Only Hearings)
Are appeal hearings open to the public?: 
Varies by Case
If "Varies by Case," please describe: 
Within the discretion of the Board, oral argument shall be open to the public (20 CFR § 802.308(c)). This question is not applicable to document-only hearings. A transcript of any oral argument is included in the record on appeal (20 CFR § 802.403(b)).
PROCESS & PROCEDURE - Post-Hearing Procedure
Who typically drafts final decisions on appellate cases adjudicated by this office?: 
Staff Attorney
Who has authority to issue final decisions on appellate cases adjudicated by this office?: 
Adjudication Officer
If "Other/Varies by Case," please specify: 
Final decisions are issued by the Board.
Do agency regulations or guidance provide time limits for issuance of final decisions on appellate cases?: 
About how long does it take on average—as of FY2013—to adjudicate appeals by this office?: 
320 Days
Is judicial review available after issuance of a final decision on appellate cases adjudicated by this office?: 
Yes (All Types of Cases)
If "Yes (Some Types of Cases)," please describe types of decisions/cases that are judicially reviewable: 
20 CFR § 802.410
PROCESS & PROCEDURE - Case Management
How are claims/cases processed at this appellate office?: 
First-In/First-Out Basis
Please briefly describe your case management practice(s) at this office: 
Generally, cases are considered on a first-in/first out basis. However, cases may be disposed of early in response to motions, including a motion to dismiss, or a motion to expedite, for example. In contrast, cases may be held, for example, pending a decision by a court of appeals that is expected to be controlling, or pending oral argument by the BRB.
Does the agency permit web-based electronic filing of briefs or other documents in cases adjudicated by this appellate office?: 
Are final decisions issued by this appellate office published and/or posted on the agency website?: 
Yes (All Decisions)
If "Yes (Some Decisions)," how does the agency determine which final decisions to publish/post? Please briefly describe: 
All final decisions are posted on the agency website. http://www.dol.gov/brb/decisions.htm In addition, published Board decisions are contained in the Black Lung or Longshore Reporter, published by Juris and Lexis Nexis, respectively.
Do agency regulations/rules of practice specify the contents of the administrative record on appeals heard by this office?: 
Yes (All Types of Cases)
If "Yes," please provide citation(s): 
20 CFR §802.301
Do agency regulations/rules of practice provide for closure of the record on appeals heard by this office?: 
Comments/Notes on Appellate Process & Procedures (Optional): 
BRB rules allow motions for reconsideration of interlocutory orders (20 CFR § 802.219(i)) and Board decisions (20 CFR § 802.407).
Total # of Appeal Officers: 
ADR: General Information
Is ADR available at one or more points for appellate cases heard by this office?: 
CASELOAD STATISTICS - Summary Statistics
Total # Cases Filed/Opened (FY2013): 
Total # Cases Decided/Closed (FY2013): 
Total # Cases Pending (End of FY2013): 
CASELOAD STATISTICS - Supplementary Statistics
Does your agency maintain annual caseload statistics for this hearing office by case type (e.g., discrimination complaint, licen: 
If "Yes," please indicate preferred format below.: 
Separate email with statistical attachment (e.g., PDF, MS-Word, Excel)
Are there distinctive or innovative features of the appellate-level adjudication program covered on this form that you wish to: 
The DOL Appeals case tracking system has given the Adjudicatory Boards (ARB, BRB, ECAB) the ability to allow electronic filing and electronic service of all documents filed with the Boards. This functionality allows parties to file new appeals electronically, receive electronic service of Board issuances, file briefs and motions electronically, and check the status of existing appeals via a web-based interface accessible 24 hours every day in lieu of paper documents.
Verified by Agency: