TN 1 (08-11)
DI 29501.001 Assistance Requests from the Office of Hearings Operations
The Office of Hearings Operations (OHO) has the authority to hold administrative hearings
and issue decisions under title II and title XVI of the Social Security Act. OHO also
has the authority to request and receive evidence about contested issues and to issue
subpoenas. OHO may request evidence from any source it deems necessary. OHO may request
the assistance of the disability determination services (DDS) to develop evidence.
In this subchapter, we describe the actions the DDS must take to comply with administrative
law judge (ALJ) and Appeals Council (AC) assistance requests. The DDS actions for
processing electronic or paper assistance requests are similar; however, in electronic
processing, after adding the new evidence to the file, there is no need to forward
paper copies of any form or request to the ALJ since the information is transmitted
to the electronic folder.
OHO may request DDS assistance:
Before a hearing, an ALJ may request that the DDS obtain existing medical evidence
or arrange a consultative examination (CE).
After a hearing but prior to a decision, an ALJ may find it necessary, because of
written evidence or oral testimony introduced in the hearing, to request that the
DDS obtain additional medical evidence or arrange a CE.
If a claimant requests that the AC review an ALJ’s decision, the AC can make a direct
request to the DDS for any additional development. The DDS processes these AC development
requests in the same way as those from an ALJ.