I-2-5-54.Scheduling a Vocational 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 vocational expert (VE) to assess availability before scheduling the VE to provide testimony at a hearing. If the VE is unavailable when he or she comes up in rotation (see Hearings, Appeals and Litigation Law (HALLEX) manual I-2-5-52), HO staff will select the VE for the next available hearing slot for which he or she is available (i.e., the HO does not return the VE to the bottom of the rotation list until he or she is selected).

B. Notifying VE of Selection

1. Notification Letter

Once HO staff selects a VE to provide testimony at a hearing, HO staff will send the VE a notification letter confirming the selection. The notice is automatically created when HO staff generate a notice of hearing (see HALLEX I-2-3-15) and select either “Vocational 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 VE;

  • The issues to be considered; and

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

2. Copy of Notice of Hearing

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

3. Relevant Evidence

The administrative law judge (ALJ) will provide a VE with any relevant vocational evidence that the VE needs to formulate and provide an opinion. Additionally, the ALJ must ensure the VE receives information necessary for a full and complete record. Therefore, the ALJ will ensure the VE receives:

  • Copies of any vocational evidence, with the proposed exhibit number clearly identified (arranged in chronological order when possible);

  • A copy of the VE'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 VE; and

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