Subject: Administrative Law Judge Decisions
Over the last several years, Administrative Law Judges (ALJs), hearing office (HO) staff attorneys, and some claimant representatives have suggested that the Office of Hearings and Appeals (OHA) implement formal procedures and guidelines for the use of proposed decisional language submitted by claimants or representatives in fully favorable hearing decisions.
To help relieve the growing decision writing burden that has followed the unprecedented increase in HO case receipts, former Associate Commissioner Daniel L. Skoler issued a memorandum to the field on March 10, 1995, clarifying existing policy and authorizing procedures and guidelines for the use of proposed decisional language, which are mandatory in every case in which a claimant or representative proposes decisional language to an ALJ.
This transmittal introduces a new section, I-2-813, Use of Language Supplied by Claimants and Representatives in Preparation of Fully Favorable Decisions. This new section incorporates the policy and procedural guidelines contained in the Associate Commissioner's March 10, 1995 memorandum.
It also introduces a new exhibit, I-2-890 Exhibits, Exhibit 9, Information For Claimants And Representatives About Submitting Language That May Be Used In The Hearing Decision. This new exhibit is an informational flyer which briefly describes the process and OHA's requirements for submitting decisional language. It may be duplicated and mailed to claimants and representatives to ensure that they are apprised of OHA's policy on submitting decisional language. The flyer should also be made available to claimants and representatives along with other bulletins, booklets and notices routinely displayed in each HO's waiting room.
This transmittal also revises:
Table of Contents I-2-801 through I-2-890 by adding the new section I-2-813.
I-2-812, Expedited Fully Favorable Decisions, by adding a discussion about the use of proposed decisional language and a reference to the new section I-2-813, adding the drug addiction or alcoholism (DAA) “exception,” deleting obsolete DAA procedures, and replacing “Evidentiary Support Statement” with “Narrative Rationale,” “Statement of Findings” with “List of Numbered Findings,” and “Decisional Statement” with “Summary of the Decision.”
I-2-803, I-2-805, and I-2-810 by making minor editorial changes to enhance clarity and consistency.
I-2-815 and I-2-890 Exhibits, Exhibit 8, by replacing “Secretary of Health and Human Services” with “Commissioner.”
Remove from Chapter I-2-800:
Table of Contents I-2-801 through I-2-890, dated June 29, 1994 (2 pages).
I-2-803 B. 2. cont. through I-2-815 B., dated June 30, 1994 (6 pages).
I-2-890 Exhibits, Exhibit 8, dated June 30, 1994 (1 page).
Insert in Chapter I-2-800:
Table of Contents I-2-801 through I-2-890, dated June 25, 1996 (2 pages).
I-2-803 B. 2. cont., dated June 30, 1994, I-2-803 B. 2. cont. through I-2-813 B. 4. cont., dated June 25, 1996, and I-2-815 B., dated June 30, 1994 (8 pages).
I-2-890 Exhibits, Exhibit 8 and Exhibit 9, dated June 25, 1996 (2 pages).
Date: June 25, 1996