Last Update: 9/28/05 (Transmittal I-2-68)
The ALJ, in addition to conducting a prehearing conference (see 20 CFR §§ 404.961, 416.1461; I-2-1-75), may use a Prehearing Questionnaire to:
obtain evidence, including information from the claimant or representative that may help in the determination whether the claimant's impairment(s) meets or equals a listing;
clarify the issues;
obtain the position of the claimant or representative on which impairment(s) are shown by the evidence to be “severe” or to meet or medically equal a listing, or on the functional limitations that are supported by the medical evidence;
obtain a list of witnesses beside the claimant who will testify in order to properly schedule the hearing with sufficient time; and
obtain any stipulations.
Besides obtaining evidence from the claimant or representative, a Prehearing Questionnaire can be helpful in narrowing the issues that need to be decided at the hearing and in managing the scheduling, and conducting of, the hearing by the ALJ.
The ALJ must not impose penalties, threaten sanctions or otherwise state that a representatives fee may be reduced by the ALJ for failure of the claimant or representative to complete and submit responses to the Prehearing Questionnaire.
A sample permissible Prehearing Questionnaire is set forth in I-2-5-89, Sample – Prehearing Questionnaire