Subject: Prehearing Analysis and Case Workup
This transmittal amends section I-2-1-75 of the Hearings, Appeals and Litigation Law (HALLEX) manual to update guidance for the hearing operation on conducting a prehearing conference (PHC).
HALLEX I-2-1-75 is revised as follows:
I-2-1-75 A – We added subsection A titled “General” to explain that an administrative law judge (ALJ) may conduct a PHC in cases assigned to the ALJ. Additionally, we explained that when a case has not yet been assigned to an ALJ, the Hearing Office Chief Administrative Law Judge may select a designee to conduct a PHC. In this circumstance, hearing office management will assign PHCs in rotation as much as possible, similar to the rotational assignment of cases to ALJs discussed in HALLEX I-2-1-55.
I-2-1-75 B – We added subsection B titled “Purpose” and set forth common examples of the purpose of a PHC. We also added a note to clarify that only an ALJ can agree to take certain actions during a PHC, including agreeing to an action that requires the issuance of an order.
I-2-1-75 C – We added subsection C titled “Scheduling the PHC” and explained that the person conducting the PHC determines the manner of appearance at the PHC. Further, we clarified that the claimant must be notified at least 7 days in advance of the PHC date and stated that when the PHC is conducted by telephone, the hearing office will include certain information with the PHC notice. We also added a note to explain that an ALJ or designee may not hold a PHC with multiple claimants present.
I-2-1-75 D – We added subsection D titled “Conducting the PHC” and described how an ALJ or designee conducts a PHC, including what information to provide in the opening statement and what information to obtain from the claimant.
I-2-1-75 E – We added subsection E titled “After the PHC” and explained that the ALJ or designee will document the PHC by completing form SSA-5002, Report of Contact, and adding a Remark in the Case Processing and Management System.
Date: May 4, 2015