I-2-5-71.Field Office Employee as a Witness

Last Update: 8/29/14 (Transmittal I-2-118)

When an administrative law judge (ALJ) determines the testimony of a particular field office (FO) employee is necessary (e.g., to resolve conflicting statements in the file), he or she will request the employee's appearance in writing. The ALJ will send a memorandum to the Social Security Administration's Regional Commissioner (RC) of the appropriate region, who will forward the memorandum to the appropriate FO. See Program Operations Manual System GN 03103.160B.4.

The memorandum will provide pertinent information, including the reason for the request; the place, date, and time of the hearing; and the method by which the employee will testify. The preferred method for sending the request is by email. If the memorandum is sent to the RC by another method, the ALJ will include the original and one copy. The ALJ will also send a copy of the request by email (or another method) to the Regional Chief Administrative Law Judge (RCALJ), unless the RCALJ has waived such notification.


An ALJ may only send the request directly to the FO manager in an emergency and with the RC's prior approval.

Additionally, the ALJ will send a copy of the memorandum to the claimant and representative, if any, and place a copy in the file.

To facilitate the FO employee's testimony and minimize his or her time out of the office, the ALJ will, to the extent practical, permit the FO employee to testify via telephone or video teleconferencing.