Subject: Obtaining Evidence
This transmittal clarifies and updates the guidelines relating to obtaining evidence contained in HALLEX Chapter I-2-5. These changes eliminate outdated references to the Black Lung Benefits and Medicare programs. The updates also reflect use of the Document Generation System (DGS) throughout the chapter; clarify the procedures for the gathering of evidence; add references to telephone and video teleconference testimony, where appropriate; and include hyperlinks to other relevant sections of the Act, the CFR, to eForms where available, and to cross-references within the HALLEX.
I-2-5-1 is revised to remove references to the Black Lung Benefits and Medicare programs, and to references to the regulations and other sections of HALLEX.
I-2-5-10 C. requires a component issuing a revised determination during prehearing review to send that determination to the ALJ.
I-2-5-18 provides that ALJs obtain treating source evidence through interrogatories, telephone, or written affidavit before resorting to subpoenas..
I-2-5-20.C. is expanded to require communication between the ALJ and DDS as to why certain medical sources are used or not used.
I-2-5-24 is revised to state that a request for hearing (RH) should never be dismissed for refusal to undergo a CE or medical testing. Subsection A. details how to process such refusals in a variety of media. Subsection F. expands what might be considered good cause for not undergoing a CE or medical testing.
I-2-5-30 expands the procedure for using interrogatories to obtain VE/ME opinions.
I-2-5-31 now requires that every VE/ME who testifies must be covered by a BPA.
I-2-5-32 provides that MEs may testify via telephone or video teleconference (VTC).
I-2-5-34 A. is revised to provide that an ALJ may need to obtain an ME opinion when the claimant or claimant's representative requests the presence of an ME and the ALJ agrees that ME testimony is necessary. I-2-5-34 B. is revised to provide additional circumstances when an ALJ must obtain an ME opinion.
I-2-5-36 provides procedures for post-hearing review of evidence by the ME.
I-2-5-38 updates the procedure for generating and processing the notice to the ME.
I-2-5-39 adds information about Title XVI child cases.
I-2-5-50 expands when an ALJ may take VE testimony.
I-2-5-52 expands the discussion of the VE roster.
I-2-5-54 updates the procedure for generating and processing the notice to the VE.
I-2-5-57 includes references to WebBASS and other policy additions.
I-2-5-58 clarifies policy matters on receipt of VE interrogatories.
I-2-5-61 no longer allows for dual ME/VE experts.
I-2-5-71 updates the policy on Field Office employees as witnesses.
I-2-5-77 provides updated procedures for obtaining recordings to comply with DRAP. Subsection C. is deleted.
I-2-5-85, Use of Prehearing Questionnaires—General, is a new section.
I-2-5-89, Sample—Prehearing Questionnaire, is a new section.
I-2-5-90 through I-2-5-95 and I-2-5-99 now contain instructions on how to access the respective form in DGS.
Date: September 28, 2005