I-3-7-12.Remand for Evidence from a Medical Expert

Last Update: 4/26/16 (Transmittal I-3-139)

The Appeals Council (AC) may remand a case to an administrative law judge (ALJ) when it determines that evidence from a medical expert (ME) is necessary to decide the case. The AC may remand a case solely for the purpose of obtaining ME testimony, or may remand in conjunction with other necessary development.

Generally, the AC will not direct an ALJ to obtain an ME with a particular specialty. However, in the limited circumstances in which recommending a particular specialty is appropriate, the AC will use qualifiers such as “if available” or “if possible” in the remand order as MEs of a particular specialty may not be readily available in certain areas.

Common examples of when the AC may remand for ME testimony include, but are not limited to: