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SOCIAL SECURITY ADMINISTRATION
Office of Disability Adjudication and Review

HALLEX
Volume I

Transmittal No. I-2-71

Chapter: I-2-8

Subject: Administrative Law Judge Conducts Hearing but is Unavailable to Issue Decision

Background

HALLEX Chapter I-2-8-40 Administrative Law Judge Conducts Hearing but is Unavailable to Issue Decision has been revised to expressly permit an ALJ to authorize the Hearing Office Chief Administrative Law Judge (HOCALJ) to sign a decision or order for the ALJ if the ALJ is temporarily unavailable to sign the decision. The express permission will be in the form of an affirmative written authorization with the ALJ's “wet” signature. A rubber stamp or other mechanical signature is not authorized under any circumstances.

Explanation of Content and Changes

I-2-8-40 is amended to expressly permit an ALJ to authorize the Hearing Office Chief Administrative Law Judge (HOCALJ) to sign a decision or order for the ALJ if the ALJ is temporarily unavailable to sign the decision. The express permission will be in the form of an affirmative written authorization by the ALJ to include e-mail, fax or other writing. The ALJ must sign any non email paper document affirmative written authorization with his/her “wet” signature. A rubber stamp or other mechanical signature is not authorized under any circumstances.

I-2-8-40 is also amended to include “other cause” beside illness that would result in an ALJ being on prolong leave of twenty days or more.

Date: May 16, 2008