I-2-5-18.Obtaining Testimony from a Claimant's Medical Source

Last Update: 9/28/05 (Transmittal I-2-68)

A medical source's medical reports are usually sufficient to document his or her medical findings and assessment. However, at the claimant's request and with the agreement of his or her medical source, the source may testify at a hearing.

Also, if an ALJ determines that a medical source's testimony is needed to inquire fully into the matters at issue, the ALJ will try to obtain the testimony on a voluntary basis. The ALJ must enter into the record copies of all correspondence and other documentation of his or her efforts to obtain the treating source's voluntary testimony.

In addition to appearing in person, the ALJ should consider obtaining the medical source's testimony through interrogatories, written affidavit or telephone conference before the ALJ resorts to the issuance of a subpoena. If a medical source will not testify voluntarily, the ALJ will follow the procedures in I-2-5-78, Use of Subpoenas — General, through I-2-5-82, Noncompliance With a Subpoena.