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SOCIAL SECURITY ADMINISTRATION
Office of Disability Adjudication and Review

HALLEX
Volume I

Transmittal No. I-2-115

Chapter: I-2-0

Subject: Initial Processing of a Request for Hearing

Background

This transmittal amends chapter I-2-0 of the Hearings, Appeals and Litigation Law (HALLEX) manual to update and provide instructions relating to hearings by video teleconferencing (VTC). The updates are necessary due to regulatory changes and to incorporate procedures formerly located in HALLEX temporary instruction I-5-1-16. We also made other formatting and editorial changes.

Explanation of Content and Changes

This transmittal revises chapter I-2-0 as follows:

I-2-0-15 – We added a section titled, “Hearing by Video Teleconferencing or Telephone- Overview” to incorporate regulatory changes and information formerly found in HALLEX I-5-1-16. In the section, we provide general information about how we will notify a claimant that he or she may be scheduled to appear at a hearing by VTC and explain that he or she will have the right to object to being scheduled in this manner. We also provide helpful links to HALLEX provisions that provide more detail about the VTC scheduling process. We also explain when an administrative law judge (ALJ) can direct a claimant's appearance by telephone.

I-2-0-20 A – We added a new subsection A titled “Sending an Acknowledgement Letter” that clarifies when an acknowledgement letter is sent.

I-2-0-20 B – We moved the information formerly in subsection B to subsection C and titled the subsection “Content of an Acknowledgement Letter.” We incorporated information formerly in subsection A and indicated the information the acknowledgement letter must contain, including the right to object to being scheduled to appear at the hearing by VTC. We also added information about mailing times and other helpful references.

I-2-0-20 C – We incorporated information formerly in subsection B and titled the subsection “Routing the Acknowledgement Letter.” We removed outdated information and made other minor language and formatting changes.

I-2-0-21 – We added a section titled “Objection to Appearing at Hearing by Video Teleconferencing.” We explain how an ALJ will establish whether an objection is timely submitted, and how hearing offices will handle timely and untimely objections.

I-2-0-70 A – We made minor editorial changes.

I-2-0-70 C – We modified the title to “Claimant Changes Residences While RH Is Pending.” We added helpful references based on regulatory changes and updated procedures not affected by the regulatory changes.

I-2-0-70 D – We modified the title to “Claimant Requests Transfer of RH for Reasons Not Related to Change in Residence,” and removed outdated information. We cross-reference updated instructions for evaluating good cause for requesting a change in the time and place of hearing and added a NOTE to clarify that ALJs must consider whether the claimant objected to appearing at hearing by VTC when evaluating the issue.

I-2-0-72 A – We made minor formatting changes to the subsection.

I-2-0-72 B – We made minor formatting changes to the subsection.

I-2-0-72 D – We added a sub-subsection 4 titled “Special Considerations When Scheduling a Hearing by Telephone and Claimant Is Located Outside the United States,” and inserted instructions for making arrangements for international calls.

Date: August 29, 2014