I-3-2-8.Recording Audit Requirements

Last Update: 1/14/16 (Transmittal I-3-130)

A. Determining What Part of Hearing Recording to Audit

When processing a request for review, an analyst (or when applicable, other assigned staff) must audit the entire hearing recording(s) when:

  • A request for review involves an allegation of an unfair hearing;

  • The analyst is recommending that the Appeals Council grant review and issue a less than fully favorable decision; or

  • The adjudicator requests an audit of the entire hearing recording.

An analyst or assigned staff must audit portions of the hearing recording(s) when:

  • A claimant or representative raises specific contentions regarding testimony given at hearing, expert witness testimony, or the administrative law judge's treatment of certain hearing testimony;

  • The decision rationale is insufficient regarding expert witness testimony; or

  • The adjudicator requests an audit of certain portions of the hearing recording.


In evaluating whether an unrepresented claimant specifically requested an audit of the hearing recording, analysts must consider the claimant's ability to articulate contentions (e.g., literacy, level of education, or presence of a mental impairment that may affect the claimant's ability to pursue his or her claim).

Even when a full or partial audit of the hearing recording is not required, an analyst will perform a spot check audit of the hearing recording to ensure the hearing recording is audible.

When the case has been remanded from court, the analyst will use the recording audit requirements in Hearings, Appeals and Litigation Law (HALLEX) manual I-3-2-9. If the hearing recording is missing or inaudible, see instructions in HALLEX I-3-1-12.

B. Special Considerations When Hearing Was Not Conducted in English

Generally, if an interpreter was present at the hearing, an analyst will be able to comply with the requirements above. However, there are circumstances in which a hearing is not conducted in English, in whole or in part, and the analyst may not be able to perform all of the audit functions explained above without additional action. When appropriate, the analyst will submit a request for an English transcription of the hearing recording, or portions of the hearing recording, to the branch chief. If the branch chief agrees, the branch chief will submit a formal request for a transcription.