The Administrative Procedure Act gives ALJs the authority to admit or refuse to admit
evidence into the record, based on whether the ALJ is of the opinion that the evidence
is “relevant,” irrespective of whether the evidence is "certified" according to SSA's
procedures for certification. Because the Office of Disability Adjudication and Review's
policy is to encourage ALJs to take a liberal approach in deciding what evidence is
“relevant” and thus admissible into the record, there may be instances in which ALJs
may consider non-certified evidence in rendering their decisions.