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SOCIAL SECURITY ADMINISTRATION
Office of Disability Adjudication and Review

HALLEX
Volume I

Transmittal No. I-2-175

Chapter: I-2-6

Subject: Conduct of Hearings

Background

This transmittal amends chapter I-2-6 of the Hearings, Appeals and Litigation Law (HALLEX) manual to clarify an administrative law judge's (ALJ) actions on the record before and when questioning a medical expert (ME) or vocational expert (VE).

Explanation of Content and Changes

HALLEX I-2-6 was amended as follows:

I-2-6-70 – We made minor editorial changes throughout the section. In subsection B, we clarified that an ALJ will ask an ME to confirm his or her impartiality, expertise, and professional qualifications on the record. In subsections B and C, we incorporated information previously in HALLEX I-2-5-39, including that the ALJ must obtain a statement on the record verifying the ME has examined all medical and other relevant evidence and, if certain testimony is based on an assumption, the ALJ will ask the ME to describe the assumption on the record. We added subsections D and E to incorporate information previously in HALLEX I-2-5-39 regarding ME opinions on medical equivalency and residual functional capacity issues.

I-2-6-74 – We made minor editorial changes throughout the section. In subsection B, we clarified that an ALJ will ask a VE to confirm his or her impartiality, expertise, and professional qualifications on the record. In subsections B and C, we incorporated information previously in HALLEX I-2-5-55, including that the ALJ must obtain a statement on the record verifying the VE has examined all vocational evidence and, if certain testimony is based on an assumption, the ALJ will ask the VE to describe the assumption on the record. In subsection B, we added a helpful reference to instructions for qualifying a VE and referring the matter when an ALJ finds the VE's qualifications may need further review.

Date: June 16, 2016