I-2-3-15.Notice of Hearing
Last Update: 8/2/16 (Transmittal I-2-183)
A. When to Mail the Notice of Hearing
The administrative law judge (ALJ) or hearing office (HO) staff must send notice of the hearing to the claimant and representative at least 20 days before the hearing, unless the claimant has waived the right to advance notice. See Hearings, Appeals and Litigation Law (HALLEX) manual I-2-3-25 for more information about a waiver of advance notice of hearing.
HO staff will also add a copy of the notice of hearing to the B section of the claim(s) file.
In Region 1, the notice of hearing must be issued 75 days in advance unless the claimant agrees to a shorter notice period. See 20 CFR 405.316(a).
B. Verifying the Claimant's Address
It is important to check for any update to the claimant's address before sending a notice of hearing. In addition to querying the Case Processing and Management System (CPMS), the HO staff will check the Personal Communications (PCOM) system queries, including:
The Full Master Beneficiary Record (FACT) for title II cases;
The Supplemental Security Income Display (SSID) for title XVI cases;
The Modernized Development Worksheet (MDW) for either title;
The Customer Service Record (CSR) for either title; and
The Prisoner Update Processing System (PUPS) for either title.
In some cases, newly submitted medical evidence or correspondence may include an address change. Therefore, whenever possible, the HO should check any newly submitted medical evidence or correspondence for a possible address change.
To reduce the likelihood of a remand from the Appeals Council (AC) for an address issue, HO staff will associate any queries obtained in the D section of the claim(s) file.
C. Notice of Hearing Forms
1. In General
HO staff can generate notice of hearing templates from the Document Generation System (DGS). DGS includes the standardized notices of hearing we use in all case types, as well as our standardized amended notices of hearing and notices of continued hearing.
DGS includes a Spanish version of each template. See HALLEX I-2-3-45 for more information on when to send a Spanish version of the notice of hearing.
For blind or visually impaired claimants, see HALLEX I-2-3-50 for special notice options.
2. Special Video Teleconferencing (VTC) and Telephone Considerations
Appropriate language options are available in DGS for a variety of situations including when hearing participants will appear via VTC or telephone. The available options include:
Claimant only appears before the ALJ by VTC or telephone;
Claimant and appointed representative appear before the ALJ by VTC or telephone;
Only a witness or witnesses appear by VTC or telephone;
The claimant and at least one expert witness appear by VTC or telephone (from the same or a different site); or
The claimant and all witnesses appear by VTC or telephone (from the same or different sites).
When a claimant is scheduled to appear by VTC or telephone, HO staff will prepare the notice of hearing using the “Remarks” section in DGS to advise the claimant whether a witness(es) will appear by VTC or telephone, and that the claimant will hear and speak with the witness(es) through the VTC equipment or by telephone.
3. Court or AC Remand Considerations
When a case is remanded, the ALJ will ensure the notice of hearing identifies the issue(s) raised in the court remand order and the AC remand order. If the ALJ intends to address a new issue(s) not raised in either the court remand order or AC remand order, the ALJ must also identify the issue in the notice of hearing.
D. Information to Include on the Notice of Hearing
All notices of hearing must include:
The claimant's proper name, applicable Social Security number(s), proper names of expert witnesses, the HO or National Hearing Center address, and the time and place set for the hearing.
A statement of whether the claimant, any party to the hearing, or other witness(es) will appear at the hearing in-person, via VTC, or by telephone
If the claimant is scheduled to appear by VTC, the notice of hearing must also explain that the scheduled place for the hearing is a VTC site.
If the claimant is appearing by telephone, the notice of hearing must include the phone number of record that will be used to call the claimant, as well as the opportunity to provide an alternate phone number if the information is inaccurate.
A statement of the issues to be decided and the claimant's right to object to those issues. See generally HALLEX I-2-2.
A statement informing the claimant of his or her right to designate a representative.
A statement informing the claimant that he or she may be reimbursed for travel expenses under certain circumstances.
An explanation of the procedures for requesting a change in the time and place of the hearing.
A statement that the ALJ may dismiss the request for hearing if the claimant fails to appear at the scheduled hearing without “good cause.”
A reminder to submit additional evidence as soon as possible for consideration by the ALJ.
If the claim is pending in Region 1, a statement must be included that the ALJ may decline to consider additional evidence if it is submitted later than 5 business days before the date of the hearing.
A statement of the claimant's right to request the issuance of a subpoena. See HALLEX I-2-5-78.
Any other information about the scheduling and conduct of the hearing that the ALJ believes the claimant should have.
E. Documenting the Hearing Information
HO staff will follow the instructions in the HO electronic business process section 4.2 for documenting hearing information in CPMS, including the:
Time and date of the hearing;
Time zones of the claimant and other participants;
Site selection, including off-network conferencing, multi-point bridge, or Representative Video Project involvement;