I-2-5-38.Scheduling a Medical Expert for Hearing

Last Update: 6/16/16 (Transmittal I-2-174)

A. Determining Availability

Absent unusual circumstances, hearing office (HO) staff will contact a medical expert (ME) to assess availability before scheduling the ME to provide testimony at a hearing. If the ME is unavailable when he or she comes up in rotation (see Hearings, Appeals and Litigation Law (HALLEX) manual I-2-5-36), the HO will select the ME for the next available hearing slot for which he or she is available (i.e., the HO does not return the ME to the bottom of the rotation list until he or she is selected).

For additional information about when an administrative law judge (ALJ) needs ME evidence, see HALLEX I-2-5-30. For more information about selecting an ME, see HALLEX I-2-5-36.

B. Notifying ME of Selection

1. Notification Letter

Once an HO selects an ME to provide testimony at a hearing, HO staff will send the ME a notification letter confirming the selection. The notice is automatically created when HO staff generates a notice of hearing (see HALLEX I-2-3-15) and selects either “Medical Expert” or “VE & ME” in the Document Generation System.

Although some letters may require slight modification to address a specific fact scenario, all notification letters will include:

  • Information clearly identifying both the claimant and ME;

  • The issues to be considered; and

  • The name and telephone number of an HO contact if the ME has any questions or concerns.

2. Copy of Notice of Hearing

HO staff will ensure the ME receives a copy of the notice of hearing with any relevant evidence (see B.3. below). For detailed information on the notice of hearing, see HALLEX I-2-3-15.

3. Relevant Evidence

The ALJ will provide an ME with any relevant evidence that the ME will need to formulate and provide an opinion. Additionally, the ALJ must ensure the ME receives information necessary for a full and complete record. Therefore, the ALJ will ensure the ME receives:

  • Copies of any medical evidence (F section of the claim(s) file) and any other relevant evidence, with the proposed exhibit number and pages clearly identified (arranged in chronological order when possible);

  • A copy of the ME's professional qualifications for verification;

  • A copy of the proposed exhibit list (see HALLEX I-2-1-20);

  • Copies of any correspondence between the ALJ and ME; and

  • If applicable, a transcript, written summary, or recording of any ME testimony provided in a prior hearing for the same claimant.