I-2-3-15.Notice of Hearing
Last Update: 1/21/20 (Transmittal I-2-231)
A. When to Mail the Notice of Hearing
Office of Hearings Operations (OHO) management, through designated staff, must send a notice of the hearing to the claimant and the claimant's representative at least 75 days before the date set for a hearing, unless the claimant waives the right to advance notice in writing. See Hearings, Appeals and Litigation Law (HALLEX) manual I-2-3-25 for more information about a waiver of advance notice of hearing. For an amended notice of hearing or notice of supplemental hearing, OHO staff must send the notice at least 20 days before the date of the hearing. The date of hearing indicated in an amended notice of hearing or notice of supplemental hearing will be at least 75 days from the date we first sent the claimant a notice of hearing, unless the claimant waives the right to advance notice (See HALLEX I-2-3-30 for instructions on sending an amended notice of hearing for a postponement and I-2-3-35 for instructions on sending a notice of a continuance of hearing).
OHO staff will also add a copy of the notice of hearing to the B section of the claim(s) file.
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) and the Hearings and Appeals Case Processing System (HACPS), the OHO 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, OHO staff 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, OHO staff will associate any queries obtained in the D section of the claim(s) file.
C. Notice of Hearing Forms
1. In General
OHO staff can generate notice of hearing templates from the Document Generation System (DGS) and HACPS. DGS and HACPS include the standardized notices of hearing to use in all case types as well as standardized amended notices of hearing and notices of continued hearing.
DGS and HACPS include 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 and HACPS for a variety of situations including when hearing participants will appear via VTC or telephone. The available options include:
Claimant only appears before the administrative law judge (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 or HACPS 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. AC or Court Remand Considerations
When the AC or a court remands a case, OHO management, through designated staff, will ensure that the notice of hearing identifies the issue(s) raised in the AC or court remand order. If the ALJ intends to address a new issue(s) not raised in either the AC or court remand order, the notice of hearing must also identify that issue.
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), whether an expert witness will appear, 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 state that the scheduled place for the hearing is a VTC site and must explain what it means to appear by VTC.
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 the claimant's right to designate a representative.
A statement informing the claimant that they 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 neither the claimant nor the claimant's appointed representative 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.
A statement that the ALJ may decline to consider additional evidence if the claimant informs us of it or submits it to us later than 5 business days before the date of the hearing, unless good cause exists to consider the evidence.
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 Standard Hearings Operations Procedure section 4.2 for documenting hearing information in CPMS and HACPS, 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;