DI 24503.001 Evaluating Evidence - Basic Policy
We consider all information we receive that meets our definition of evidence. We outline what information we do not consider to be evidence in DI 24503.001B.
A. Definition of evidence
Evidence is anything the claimant or anyone else submits or that we obtain that is relevant to the individual's claim. For a more complete definition of evidence, see DI 22505.001 Medical and Nonmedical Evidence.
B. What is not evidence
We do not consider the following to be evidence:
1. Privileged communications from an appointed representative
Attorney-client privilege--Confidential oral or written communications between the claimant and his or her appointed representative that are related to providing or obtaining legal advice; or
Attorney work product--The appointed representative’s analysis of the claim, which generally means his or her analysis, theories, mental impressions, and notes about the claim.
However, these would be evidence if the appointed representative or claimant provides the information to us. Generally, if information is included in the certified electronic folder (CEF) or provided by the claimant or appointed representative during the administrative process, consider it evidence.
NOTE: Neither exception allows a claimant to withhold factual information, medical source opinions, or other medical evidence that we may consider in determining whether or not a claimant is entitled to benefits. An appointed representative may not withhold the identity of a claimant’s medical source or any medical evidence about a claimant, such as a medical opinion.
For more information, see DI 31001.010 Disability Determination Services (DDS) Responsibilities When an Appointed Representative is Involved.
2. Certain evidence from excluded medical sources
We exclude certain medical sources of evidence from consideration. We define these excluded sources in DI 23060.000 Evidence from Excluded Medical Sources of Evidence.