I-2-1-5.Conducting Prehearing Case Analysis and Workup

Last Update: 4/15/15 (Transmittal I-2-137)

A. General

Hearing office (HO) staff will conduct a prehearing case analysis and workup when the HO receives a claim(s) file. HO staff will initiate the prehearing case analysis and workup, and they will consult with the administrative law judge (ALJ) and HO management on the issues discussed below, as needed.

B. Prehearing Analysis for Obtaining Evidence

As part of the prehearing case analysis, HO staff will review the claim(s) file to determine whether the claimant informed the agency about additional evidence that is not in the record. If the evidence is not in the record, HO staff will develop the evidence according to the regulations and instructions in Hearings, Appeals and Litigation Law (HALLEX) manual I-2-5-13.

If the HO staff determines additional evidence may be needed for a full and fair inquiry into the matters at issue, they will consult with an ALJ to determine whether to develop the evidence. See HALLEX I-2-5-2. If the ALJ decides that he or she needs additional evidence, the HO will develop the evidence before scheduling the hearing.

C. General Overview of Prehearing Analysis and Workup

In addition to performing a prehearing analysis for obtaining additional evidence, as discussed in subsection B above, HO staff (or the ALJ, if otherwise stated in the referenced citation), will take the following actions:

  • Ensure the claim(s) file is associated with the correct claimant.

  • Assess whether there is a prior claim(s) file. See HALLEX I-2-1-13.

  • Determine whether there are special handling procedures. See HALLEX I-2-1-55 D.

  • Determine who is a party to the hearing. See HALLEX I-2-1-45.

  • Determine the issues in the case. See generally HALLEX I-2-2.

  • Determine whether special notices are required. See HALLEX I-2-2-99, I-2-3-45, and I-2-3-50.

  • Document whether the claimant has objected to appearing at the hearing by video teleconferencing. See HALLEX I-2-0-21.

  • Note whether the case may be appropriate for a decision on-the-record, or whether the claimant has waived the right to a hearing. See HALLEX I-2-1-45.

  • Select the proposed exhibits and prepare an exhibit list. See HALLEX I-2-1-15 and I-2-1-20.

  • Determine whether an interpreter or other special accommodations are needed at the hearing. See HALLEX I-2-0-15 C, I-2-1-70, I-2-1-72, I-2-1-74, and I-2-3-10.

  • Determine whether expert testimony is needed at the hearing. See HALLEX I-2-5-34 and I-2-5-50.

  • Determine whether the testimony of any other witness is needed at the hearing. For instructions regarding when field office employees can be called as witnesses, see HALLEX I-2-5-71.

  • Give the claimant or the representative the opportunity to examine the claim(s) file. See HALLEX I-2-1-35.

  • Schedule a prehearing conference, if appropriate. See HALLEX I-2-1-75.

  • Schedule a hearing and send a notice of hearing (if applicable). See HALLEX I-2-3-10 and I-2-3-15.

  • For claim(s) remanded by the Appeals Council, request clarification before scheduling a hearing if the ALJ cannot carry out the directive(s) set forth in the remand order, or if the directive(s) appears to have been rendered moot. See HALLEX I-2-1-85.