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Social Security Disability >> Medical Expert Interrogatories

A prior blog post entitled “Medically Equaling Analysis at Step Three of the Sequential Process” discussed the importance of having an updated opinion from a Medical Expert. If additional medical evidence obtained after the State agency physician reviewed the claim suggests that a medical equivalence may be reasonable, an Administrative Law Judge (ALJ) must obtain an updated medical opinion from a Medical Expert. This requirement may be satisfied by either having a Medical Expert present during a hearing to testify, or by obtaining his or her opinion through interrogatories (i.e., a set of written questions).

HALLEX I-2-5-44 outlines what an ALJ must do when the ALJ receives a Medical Expert’s response to his or her interrogatories.

When the ALJ receives a Medical Expert’s response to his or her interrogatories, the ALJ must:

Questioning a Medical Expert is an essential part of a Social Security disability attorney’s job. Therefore, understanding the procedures and rules surrounding Medical Expert interrogatories is imperative.