Last Update: 1/13/16 (Transmittal I-2-159)

A claimant who files a request for a hearing may specifically indicate that he or she only disagrees with certain aspects of the determination. However, the issues before the administrative law judge (ALJ) include all the issues brought out in the initial, reconsidered, or revised determination that were not decided entirely in the claimant's favor. See 20 CFR 404.946(a) and 416.1446(a).

In addition to issues that are unfavorably decided, an ALJ may also reconsider issues previously decided in the claimant's favor if evidence causes the ALJ to question a favorable determination or if there was an error of law. See 20 CFR 404.946(a) and 416.1446(a). Additionally, under 20 CFR 404.946(b) and 416.1446(b), an ALJ may consider a new issue (i.e., one that has not previously been adjudicated) if:

  • A party to the hearing (see Hearings, Appeals and Litigation Law (HALLEX) manual I-2-1-45) raises a new issue; or

  • The ALJ, on his or her own initiative, raises a new issue over which he or she has jurisdiction. (See HALLEX I-2-2-10 for detailed information on jurisdiction issues and exceptions).

An ALJ will provide advance notice to the parties of the hearing of any issue, whether new or previously decided, that he or she will consider. For detailed instructions regarding notice of the issues, see HALLEX I-2-2-10.


If a prior claim is pending in Federal court, see HALLEX I-2-8-16 for a more detailed explanation of the timeframes and issues the ALJ will consider on the subsequent application.