TN 1 (08-11)

DI 29501.030 Administrative Law Judge Requests That a Consulting Physician, Disability Determination Services Staff Physician, or Other Personnel Testify at a Hearing

An administrative law judge (ALJ) may request testimony from a consulting source, a disability determinations services (DDS) staff physician, or other personnel.

A. Consulting physician

An ALJ may request that the DDS contact a consulting physician to determine his or her willingness to appear and testify at a hearing. The ALJ may need to have a consulting source appear at a hearing because questions about a consultative exam (CE) cannot be resolved based on the information contained in the consulting source’s report, by obtaining additional documentary evidence, or by written interrogatory. The ALJ may also need a consulting source to appear at the hearing to testify about the examination of the claimant. The Office of Disability Adjudication and Review (ODAR) pay any compensation for the source’s testimony.

The DDS takes the following actions:

  • Contact the consulting source by letter, advising the source that the ALJ has requested his or her appearance and testimony concerning the examination of the claimant. The letter provides the claimant's name and date of the CE, and the date, time, and place of hearing if known.

  • Ask the consulting source to respond to the request in writing, indicating willingness or unwillingness to appear at the hearing.

  • Notify the ALJ of the results of the contact with the consulting source.

NOTE: CE physicians who will not appear voluntarily (i.e., as requested by an ALJ) may be subpoenaed to appear under the same standard applicable to any witness. Attempt to obtain testimony from these individuals via video or telephone conferencing.

B. DDS staff physician or other personnel

An ALJ does not ordinarily request that a DDS staff physician or other DDS personnel testify at a hearing because of the significant administrative and operational problems involved. In rare cases where the ALJ concludes that it is necessary for a DDS staff physician or other DDS personnel to appear at a hearing, the ALJ sends a memorandum addressed to the DDS through the Assistant Regional Commissioner – Management and Operations Support (ARC-MOS), and sends one copy directly to the ODAR regional office.

Bring any problems related to the request to the ALJ's attention (e.g., the DDS staff physician is a part-time consultant and will not be available at the scheduled time and place). In an emergency, and upon prior approval of the ARC-MOS, the ALJ may send the request directly to the DDS administrator. The ALJ must allow at least 15 calendar days for clearance through the ARC-MOS to the DDS. The ALJ has the authority to issue a subpoena for a DDS staff physician or other personnel.

See Also:

DI 29501.001 Assistance Requests from the Office of Disability Adjudication and Review


To Link to this section - Use this URL:
http://policy.ssa.gov/poms.nsf/lnx/0429501030
DI 29501.030 - Administrative Law Judge Requests That a Consulting Physician, Disability Determination Services Staff Physician, or Other Personnel Testify at a Hearing - 08/11/2011
Batch run: 08/11/2011
Rev:08/11/2011