I-2-5-85.Use of Prehearing Questionnaires – General

Last Update: 1/15/16 (Transmittal I-2-162)

An administrative law judge (ALJ) may find a prehearing questionnaire useful to develop the record prior to conducting a hearing or to resolve issues that may result in issuing a favorable decision without the need for a hearing. Additionally, an ALJ may use a prehearing questionnaire to narrow the issues that he or she will decide at the hearing. In limited circumstances, a prehearing questionnaire may also be useful to obtain information needed to schedule and conduct a hearing.

When an ALJ uses a prehearing questionnaire, he or she will ensure that a copy of the questionnaire and any response is associated with the claim(s) file. When the questionnaire (and associated response) is material to the issues in a case, the ALJ will exhibit the document(s). See Hearings, Appeals and Litigation Law (HALLEX) manual I-2-1-15.


In some instances, an ALJ may find a prehearing questionnaire useful in conjunction with a prehearing conference (see HALLEX I-2-1-75).

The following are examples of when an ALJ may want to use a prehearing questionnaire:

An ALJ may not impose penalties, threaten sanctions, reduce an appointed representative's fee, suggest the request for hearing may be dismissed, or otherwise indicate the ALJ may take an adverse action if the claimant or appointed representative fail to complete and submit responses to the prehearing questionnaire.