The ALJ may consider a new issue at the hearing if the ALJ notifies the claimant and all the parties about the new issue any time after receiving the hearing request and before mailing notice of the hearing decision.
The ALJ or any party to the hearing may raise a new issue even if the issue arose after the request for hearing and even if we did not consider the issue in an initial or reconsidered determination. A new issue decided by an ALJ is not an initial determination because no lower appeal rights flow from the decision.
The ALJ or any party to the hearing may not raise a new issue if it involves a claim that is within the jurisdiction of a State agency.
If the new issue includes an issue of blindness or disability not previously adjudicated by a disability determination services agency (DDS), return the case to the DDS to make a determination on the new issue.