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.