TN 21 (01-12)
GN 03103.200 Hearing Disclosure
A. Disclosure of evidence
The claimant or his or her appointed representative may examine all evidence that is to be part of the hearing record either before or during the hearing in case they want to object to admitting the evidence or offer evidence to rebut it.
B. Disclosure of the file when the hearing is pending
If it is necessary to examine the claims, earnings discrepancy, or disability file, or if the claimant wants to see it, request that the administrative law judge (ALJ) furnish photocopies of the requested material. Do not request the whole file, unless necessary.
The ALJ removes any material that should not be disclosed to the claimant and note any omission on a transmittal-of-file form. Before the claimant examines the file, remove the transmittal form and any correspondence with the ALJ.
Permit the claimant to examine the file in accordance with GN 03103.200C.2. (in this section). (For further discussion of the rule on inspection of claims files, see GN 03300.000.)
C. Disclosure after the hearing
1. ALJ action on disclosure of evidence
If someone other than the claimant or his or her appointed representative submits evidence after the hearing, the ALJ must allow the claimant or the appointed representative to examine the evidence if the ALJ plans to use it to decide the case. The ALJ sends the evidence to the field office (FO) by memorandum and notifies the claimant or appointed representative that the evidence will be available for examination at the FO.
2. FO action on disclosure of evidence
The FO will send a letter to the claimant or representative when the evidence referred by the ALJ is available in the FO. The letter advises the claimant and appointed representative to call the FO within 10 days of receipt of the letter if they want to examine the evidence. If they do not appear within five days after the time limit, return the document to the ALJ with a report that they failed to appear.
If they come in to examine the evidence, explain or discuss the document but do not interpret the effect on the claim.
Make copies of the evidence for the claimant or appointed representative.
Have the claimant or appointed representative complete and sign the face sheet that will accompany the document to indicate they have inspected the evidence and whether they have comments. Get any objections or comments in writing, signed by the claimant or appointed representative, and send them to the ALJ.
If any problems arise in following this procedure, prepare a Form SSA-5002, Report of Contact (RC) for the ALJ and send a copy through the Regional Commissioner to the Assistant Regional Commissioner (ARC), Programs.
3. Hearing transcript audio recording
SSA makes an audio record of all hearings. The claimant or appointed representative can receive a copy of the recording. A transcript of the hearing can be prepared from the recording. Send requests for transcripts or recordings to the
Office of Hearings Operations(OHO), 1 Skyline Tower,
5107 Leesburg Pike,
Falls Church, VA 22041-3255
OHO will inform the requester of the cost and method of payment for the transcript.