An ALJ reviews the requests to ensure relevance to the issues, and then submits appropriate
written interrogatories with a cover letter requesting the DDS’s or CE source’s answers.
The DDS is not required to respond to written interrogatories directly from a claimant
or claimant’s representative.
Develop written interrogatory responses using the following procedures:
If applicable, the DDS physician, CE source, or other DDS personnel review(s) the
evidence in the electronic file for the determination in question, or reviews copies
of the evidence from the paper file forwarded by the ALJ.
Make every reasonable effort to respond within the timeframe set by the ALJ. The DDS
may contact the ALJ to request an extension if needed.
Request an ALJ “ruling of necessity” for any questions believed to impose an unwarranted
burden in terms of DDS time or other resources, or any problems caused by the scope
of a question.
The DDS physician, CE source, or other DDS personnel respond(s) to the specific questions.
A simple “do not know,” may be used if applicable. Contact the ALJ if additional information
from the paper disability file is required to enable an adequate response. Send the
completed response, on appropriate letterhead, to the ALJ (with a copy for the paper
disability file). If the DDS receives additional information after the initial response,
prepare “Supplementary Answers to Interrogatories,” as stated in this section.
Notify the Assistant Regional Commissioner, Management and Operations Support (ARC-MOS),
for coordination with the Office of Hearings Operations (OHO) regional office if there
are any interrogatory-related problems which cannot be resolved through direct contact
with the ALJ. Contact the ARC-MOS if the DDS staff physician or other DDS personnel
need legal guidance in responding to the interrogatories.