Subject: Prehearing Analysis and Case Workup
This transmittal clarifies and updates the procedures relating to prehearing analysis and case workup for Administrative Law Judge hearings contained in HALLEX Chapter I-2-1. These changes eliminate outdated references to the Medicare and Black Lung Benefits programs. Instructions for accessing forms in DGS are added throughout.
I-2-1-1 has had references to the Medicare and Black Lung Benefits programs removed.
I-2-1-5 has had a bullet point relating to preparation of the summary of evidence deleted.
I-2-1-10 expands when a prior claims file might not be needed in subsection D.
I-2-1-15 is expanded to include extensive instructions for use of the Modular Disability Folder, and to clarify correct exhibit-numbering practice.
I-2-1-20 emphasizes in a note that exhibiting in favorable and partially favorable cases is not discretionary.
I-2-1-25, about the preparation of summaries of evidence, has been deleted in its entirety.
I-2-1-35 expands subsection B. and requires the hearing offices to develop procedures for claimants in VTC hearings to have access to their claim file.
I-2-1-37 changes an AIMS reference, and adds a subsection on notifying OCALJ of sensitive issues.
I-2-1-40 updates generally the procedures to be used in handling critical cases. Inordinate delay is no longer a criterion in determining whether a case is critical.
I-2-1-45 clarifies in subsection D. that workers' compensation representatives are not parties to an ALJ hearing and may not intervene.
I-2-1-55.C.2. now encourages ALJs to use VTC for remote site hearings when feasible.
I-2-1-57 includes policy on VTCs, medical incapacity to travel, and requests for accommodation under the Rehabilitation Act. WebBASS is substituted for REAPS.
I-2-1-60 adds three notes to expand on actual bias, appearance of impropriety, and AC addressing of an ALJ's refusal to recuse.
I-2-1-70 is completely revised.
I-2-1-72 and -74 are new sections.
I-2-1-91 and -92 are completely revised to give DGS instructions.
I-2-1-93 is completely revised to comport with MDF and EF procedures.
I-2-1-95 updates the critical case checklist.
I-2-1-96 is a new flag for military service casualty disability.
Date: September 28, 2005