Recontacting Treating Sources

Current 20 CFR 404.1512(e) and 416.912(e) are being deleted and replaced with sections 404.1520b and 416.920b concerning recontacting treating sources. At first blush, it would appear that the requirement that an ALJ recontact a treating source when there is a need to address questions concerning evidence submitted by said treating source is being abrogated.  However, that is not necessarily the case. The new rules allow an ALJ to avoid recontacting a treating source if he/she feels said source will not respond or address the issues after a reasonable attempt has been made to contact said treating source.  The news rules also leave in place the requirement that an ALJ make a reasonable effort to contact the claimant’s treating sources before obtaining a consultative examination (CE).  In other words, the ALJ is not supposed to abuse the CE process.  According to the comments, “The reasonable effort requirement to obtain evidence from treating sources applies before SSA can consider the purchase of a CE.”  Moreover, ALJs are expected to document their attempts to recontact treating sources per POMS DI 22505.008B.

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Disability Lawyer in Tennessee and Georgia.

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