I-2-1-5.Conducting Prehearing Case Analysis and Workup

Last Update: 8/6/09 (Transmittal I-2-75)

When an HO receives a claim file (CF), the HO staff will conduct a prehearing case analysis and workup as follows:

  • Determine if the CF is the correct CF and whether any other CFs exist or are needed. (See I-2-1-10, Claim Files.)

  • Determine if special “critical” case procedures or other special handling procedures are required. (See I-2-1-40, Critical Cases and I-2-1-55D, Special Situations Which Require a Change in the Order in Which Cases are Assigned.)

  • Determine if any other individual(s) should be made a party(ies) to the hearing. (See I-2-1-45, Parties to the Hearing.)

  • Determine the issues in the case. (See I-2-2-0, Issues.)

  • Determine if special notices are required. (See I-2-3-45, Spanish Language Translations of Forms and Notices; I-2-3-50, Special Notices for Blind or Visually Impaired Claimants or Recipients and I-2-2-99, Sample Language Which May Be Appropriate in the Notice of Hearing – Drug Addiction and Alcoholism Is At Issue.)

  • Determine if there is sufficient documentary evidence in the record for a full and fair inquiry into the matters at issue. If additional evidence is needed, discuss it with (or make recommendations to) the ALJ or, if authorized to act on the ALJ's behalf, undertake appropriate development. (See I-2-5-0, Obtaining Evidence.)

  • Determine if a hearing is required and make recommendations to the ALJ (e.g., a hearing is not required if the ALJ can issue a fully favorable decision on-the-record, or if the claimant has waived the right to a hearing). (See I-2-1-65, Hearings.)

  • Select the proposed exhibits and prepare an exhibit list, if necessary. (See I-2-1-15, Exhibits, and I-2-1-20, Preparation of Exhibit List.)

  • Determine if an interpreter is needed at the hearing. (See I-2-1-70, Foreign Language Interpreters, and I-2-1-72, Interpreters — Hearing-impaired Claimants.)

  • Determine if expert testimony is needed at the hearing. (See I-2-5-34, When to Obtain Medical Expert Opinion, and I-2-5-50, When to Obtain Vocational Expert Opinion.)

  • Determine if the testimony of any other witness is needed at the hearing. (See I-2-5-71, Field Office Employee as a Witness.)

  • In Appeals Council remand cases, if the ALJ cannot carry out the directive(s) set forth in the remand order, or the directive(s) appears to have been rendered moot, the ALJ may seek clarification. (See I-2-1-85, Clarification of Appeals Council Remand Orders.)

  • Give the claimant or the representative the opportunity to examine all proposed exhibits. (See I-2-1-35, Examination of Proposed Exhibits and Other Claim File Material.)

  • Schedule a prehearing conference, if appropriate. (See I-2-1-75, Prehearing Conference.)

  • Schedule a hearing and send a notice of hearing. (See I-2-3-10, Scheduling Hearings; and I-2-3-15, Notice of Hearing.)