I-3-8-5.Medical Support Staff Opinions

Last Update: 10/31/13 (Transmittal I-3-57)

When the Appeals Council (AC) relies on a Medical Support Staff (MSS) opinion when issuing a decision, the AC must add the MSS analysis to the record as an exhibit. See Hearings, Appeals and Litigation Law (HALLEX) manual I-3-2-11. The AC will exhibit the opinion in the F section of the file.

If the AC decision will be less than fully favorable, the AC must proffer the MSS opinion to the claimant or representative for comment before making it part of the record. See HALLEX I-3-8-10.

When the AC obtains an MSS opinion but does not rely on it, the AC will not make the MSS opinion a part of the record.