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Office of Hearings and Appeals

Volume I

Transmittal No. I-2-08

Chapter: I-2-100 and I-2-500

Subject: Prehearing Analysis and Case Workup and Securing Evidence

Action Notes

In I-2-115, add the following to the end of section A. 3.:

  • Documentation of “every reasonable effort” to obtain evidence from a claimant's medical sources.

In the second to last sentence in I-2-512, delete “dictating formal” and substitute “under which an ALJ may decide to.”


The Social Security Administration published final regulations dealing with Consultative Examinations (CEs) and Existing Medical Evidence in the Federal Register on August 1, 1991 (56 FR 36932). Pursuant to section 9 of Public Law 98-460 (the Social Security Disability Benefits Reform Act of 1984), the regulations establish standards for determining when to obtain a CE and the type of CE to be purchased, and monitoring procedures for both the purchase process and CE reports. Also, the regulations reflect that the Secretary will make every reasonable effort to obtain necessary evidence from the claimant's medical sources before evaluating medical evidence obtained from another source on a consultative basis; develop a complete medical history covering at least 12 months if deciding that the claimant is not under a disability; and consider all the evidence in the claimant's case record.

This issuance updates hearing office procedures based on the new regulations.

This issuance also modifies instructions about Administrative Law Judge remands to the Disability Determination Service.

Explanation of Content and Changes

This issuance modifies sections I-2-115 to reflect that, when appropriate, we will include in the record documentation establishing that we have made every reasonable effort to obtain evidence from a claimant's medical sources.

This issuance also modifies section I-2-512 to remove language suggesting that the regulations at 20 CFR §§ 404.1520a and 416.920a “dictate” ALJ remands to the Disability Determination Service in certain mental impairment cases. Such remands are discretionary.

These modifications are accomplished by the Action Notes and do not require replacement pages.

Date: March 5, 1992