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

Last Update: 8/7/17 (Transmittal I-2-213)

Obtaining written medical evidence from a medical source is usually sufficient for adjudication purposes. For procedures regarding obtaining medical evidence from a medical source, see Hearings, Appeals and Litigation Law (HALLEX) manual I-2-5-14.

In unusual circumstances, a claimant may request that his or her medical source testify at the hearing, or an administrative law judge (ALJ) may decide on his or her own that testimony from a medical source is needed to fully inquire into the matters at issue. Unless a medical source has already agreed to testify at a hearing, whenever possible, an ALJ will first try to obtain the needed evidence through other methods, such as interrogatories (using the same general instructions in HALLEX I-2-5-42), written affidavits, or telephone reports to hearing office staff (see HALLEX I-2-5-14 C.4.).

When other efforts have failed and the ALJ finds it is reasonably necessary for a medical source to testify at a hearing, an ALJ may ask the medical source to appear at a hearing voluntarily, typically by telephone. The ALJ will enter into the record any correspondence and other documentation of efforts to obtain the medical source's testimony voluntarily.

If a medical source does not agree to testify at a hearing and the claimant requests a subpoena to compel the appearance of the medical source at the hearing, or if the ALJ determines that it is reasonably necessary to have the medical source testify at a hearing, the ALJ will evaluate the request using the instructions in HALLEX I-2-5-78.


For instructions on preparing and serving a subpoena, see HALLEX I-2-5-80. For non-compliance with a subpoena request, see HALLEX I-2-5-82.