I-2-5-28.Action Following Receipt of Requested Evidence

Last Update: 8/29/14 (Transmittal I-2-118)

A. General

As outlined in Hearings, Appeals, and Litigation Law (HALLEX) manual chapter I-2-5, there are many circumstances in which an administrative law judge (ALJ) may request additional evidence. When requested evidence is received, the ALJ or the hearing office (HO) staff under the ALJ's direction must review the evidence to ensure it is complete, responsive, material, and relevant. See HALLEX I-2-6-58 for a discussion of when evidence is considered “material.”

B. Requested Evidence Is Complete and Responsive

If the requested evidence is material, relevant to the issues of the case, complete, and responsive, the HO staff will:

  • mark the new evidence as a proposed exhibit (See HALLEX I-2-1-15);

  • prepare and mark the professional qualifications of each source as an exhibit (See HALLEX I-2-1-30); and

  • review the total record for sufficiency of the evidence and any material conflicts.

C. Requested Evidence Is Incomplete or Unresponsive

When the HO staff requested the evidence through a State agency and the evidence is incomplete or unresponsive, the HO staff will follow the procedures in HALLEX I-2-5-14 C.3.

When the HO staff requested the evidence directly from a treating or other source and the evidence is incomplete or unresponsive, the HO staff will contact the source again to determine if additional evidence is available. The HO staff can contact the source directly or contact the source through the claimant or the representative, if any. The HO may request assistance from the State agency if necessary using the procedures in HALLEX I-2-5-14 C.3.

D. Requested Evidence Is Not Material and Relevant

If evidence requested through a State agency or directly from a treating or other source is complete and responsive but is not material and relevant, the HO staff will not exhibit the evidence. In paper cases, the HO staff will place the evidence in the temporary section of the claim(s) file.

E. Disclosure of New Evidence Before the Hearing

If an ALJ receives new evidence before the hearing from a source other than the claimant or representative, if any, and the ALJ proposes to enter the evidence into the record as an exhibit, the ALJ must give the claimant or representative an opportunity to review the evidence before the hearing. See HALLEX I-2-1-35.

If the new evidence indicates that the claimant has a serious illness of which the claimant and the treating source may not be aware, the ALJ will exercise appropriate discretion to avoid adversely affecting the claimant's medical situation, while proceeding with the actions necessary to protect the claimant's right to due process. See HALLEX I-2-8-35.

F. Disclosure of New Evidence After the Hearing

If an ALJ receives new evidence after the hearing from a source other than the claimant or representative, if any, and the ALJ proposes to enter the evidence into the record as an exhibit, the ALJ will follow the procedures in HALLEX I-2-7-30 and I-2-7-35. See also HALLEX I-2-5-91, I-2-5-92, and I-2-6-99.