I-2-5-2.Prehearing Case Review by the Administrative Law Judge

Last Update: 4/15/15 (Transmittal I-2-138)

A. General

The administrative law judge (ALJ) must perform a prehearing review of the evidence to determine whether the evidence is sufficient for a full and fair inquiry into the matters at issue or if additional action is needed in the case.


The hearing office staff, based on a prehearing analysis, may notify the ALJ prior to his or her case review of the potential need to develop additional evidence. See Hearings, Appeals and Litigation Law (HALLEX) manual I-2-1-5 A.

B. ALJ Procedures for Conducting a Prehearing Case Review

In conducting a prehearing case review, the ALJ will evaluate the claim(s) file to determine whether it is necessary to:

  • Issue a formal or informal remand. See HALLEX I-2-5-10 and 1-2-5-12;

  • Obtain evidence the claimant informed the agency about that relates to whether he or she is blind or disabled. See HALLEX I-2-5-13;

  • Obtain updated medical evidence or testimony from the claimant's medical source. See HALLEX I-2-5-14;

  • Obtain technical or specialized medical tests or opinions (consultative examinations and tests). See HALLEX I-2-5-20;

  • Obtain medical or vocational expert testimony or interrogatories. See HALLEX I-2-5-30 through I-2-5-61;

  • Obtain evidence from non-medical sources. See HALLEX I-2-5-62 through I-2-5-77;

  • Obtain evidence by issuing a subpoena on his or her own motion or at the request of a claimant. See HALLEX I-2-5-78 through HALLEX I-2-5-82;

  • Resolve conflicts or differences in the evidence;

  • Determine the need for a prehearing conference. See HALLEX I-2-1-75; and

  • Determine whether the case meets the criteria for expedited processing or an on-the-record decision. See HALLEX I-2-1-40.