Author: Catherine M. Callery (Kate)| Louise M. Tarantino

The Fall Church Office of Adjudication and Review (ODAR) recently issued a “Message to Claimants’ Representatives” setting forth a list of “Best Practices for Representatives.”  Noting that the practices listed are “merely suggestions,” the list was signed by the Deputy Commissioner, Chief Administrative Law Judge, and the Regional Chief Administrative Law Judges.

The top suggestions for practice before an ALJ hearing?

  1. Do not submit duplicative evidence
  2. Submit evidence as far in advance of the hearing as possible, using electronic records express
  3. Before faxing evidence, check to ensure the evidence you are submitting matches the claimant
  4. Make sure the barcode is the first item faxed in order to ensure proper identification of all record
  5. Submit a cover letter with the evidence identifying what is being submitted and the date of the evidence
  6. Avoid submitting voluminous evidence at the last minute
  7. When faxing evidence from different sources into the electronic folder, separate sources by placing a bar code as the first document for each source and submit in chronological order
  8. Do not submit non-medical evidence such a appointment of representative forms or fee agreements

The entire document, which includes some more specific and plenty more generic suggestions such as “establishing a good working relationship with hearing office staff and management,” is available as DAP #519.  Maybe now we can submit our suggestions for “Best Practices for ALJs.”