[Federal Register Volume 79, Number 122 (Wednesday, June 25, 2014)]
[Rules and Regulations]
[Pages 35926-35935]
From the Federal Register Online via the Government Printing Office [www.gpo.gov]
[FR Doc No: 2014-14793]


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SOCIAL SECURITY ADMINISTRATION

20 CFR Parts 404, 405, and 416

[Docket No. 2011-0056]
RIN 0960-AH37


Changes to Scheduling and Appearing at Hearings

AGENCY: Social Security Administration.

ACTION: Final rules.

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SUMMARY: These final rules explain how a claimant may object to 
appearing at a hearing via video teleconferencing, or to the time and 
place of a hearing. These final rules adopt, with further clarification 
regarding our good cause exception, the notice of proposed rulemaking 
(NPRM) that we published in the Federal Register on June 27, 2013. We 
expect that these final rules will have a minimal impact on the public, 
help ensure the integrity of our programs, and allow us to administer 
our programs more efficiently.

DATES: These final rules are effective July 25, 2014.

FOR FURTHER INFORMATION CONTACT: Maren Weight, Social Security 
Administration, 5107 Leesburg Pike, Falls Church, VA 22041-3260, (703) 
605-7100 for information about this notice. For information on 
eligibility or filing for benefits, call our national toll-free number, 
1-800-772-1213 or TTY 1-800-325-0778, or visit our Internet site, 
Social Security Online, at http://www.socialsecurity.gov.

SUPPLEMENTARY INFORMATION:

Background

    We are making final, with further clarification regarding our good 
cause exception, the proposed NPRM that we published in the Federal 
Register on June 27, 2013.\1\ As we discussed in the preamble to the 
NPRM, our workloads at the administrative law judge (ALJ) hearing level 
continue to grow, and we are implementing final rules that will help us 
provide better service by allowing us to conduct hearings and issue 
decisions more expeditiously.
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    \1\ The NPRM is available at: http://www.gpo.gov/fdsys/pkg/FR-2013-06-27/pdf/2013-14894.pdf.
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Objecting to Appearing by Video Teleconferencing

    As we explained in the NPRM, we have conducted hearings by video 
teleconferencing since 2003. Over the last decade, we found that 
hearings held by video teleconferencing help reduce our average 
processing time, reduce travel expenses, and allow us to better serve 
the public. Therefore, we have continued to improve our video 
teleconferencing capabilities, added five National Hearing Centers that 
hold hearings exclusively by video teleconferencing, and increased the 
number of ALJs in traditional hearing offices who hold hearings by 
video teleconferencing.
    However, we reiterate in these final rules that while we have taken 
significant strides in increasing our video teleconferencing capacity, 
we remain concerned that some individuals are manipulating our rules in 
order to obtain a hearing with an ALJ with a higher allowance rate. As 
we previously noted, this may be an unintended consequence of our 
commitment to transparency as we make more information, such as an 
ALJ's allowance rates, available to claimants and their 
representatives. Until the effective date of this final rule, these 
types of efforts to undermine the random assignment of ALJs have 
generally been successful. Our business process has been to reschedule 
a hearing if the claimant, or a representative on a claimant's behalf, 
objected to appearing by video teleconferencing at any time before or 
at the hearing, or to transfer a case if a claimant indicated he or she 
moved closer to another hearing office.
    Our continued concerns about efforts to undermine our rules are not 
merely anecdotal. At the time of this final rule, we brought and 
pursued sanction actions against an appointed representative for 
misrepresenting facts in order to have cases transferred to a hearing 
office with a higher allowance rate. We have observed some individuals 
decline hearings by video teleconferencing after learning that the 
claimant is scheduled to appear before an ALJ with a lower allowance 
rate. We have observed other questionable conduct that, while not 
necessarily constituting misconduct often delays the processing of 
cases and prevents the use of video teleconferencing

[[Page 35927]]

technology in certain offices. We continue to receive declinations less 
than 20 days \2\ before the date the hearing, resulting in the loss of 
the hearing slot that we could have used to hold a hearing for another 
claimant. Finally, when we receive a declination for a hearing by video 
teleconferencing after the hearing has been scheduled; we must use 
additional administrative resources to reschedule a hearing at a time 
and place amenable to all hearing participants. For these types of 
reasons, a change to our current process was necessary.
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    \2\ Our regulations require that we provide notice of a hearing 
20 days in advance. See 20 CFR 404.938 and 416.1438. Late 
declinations are even more problematic in the Boston Region where we 
are required to give notice 75 days in advance. See 20 CFR 405.316.
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    In this final rule, before we assign an ALJ to the case or before 
we schedule a hearing, we will notify a claimant that he or she has the 
right to object to appearing at the hearing by video teleconferencing. 
If the claimant objects to appearing at the hearing by video 
teleconferencing, the claimant must tell us in writing within 30 days 
after the date he or she receives the notice, unless he or she shows 
good cause for missing the deadline. If we receive a timely objection, 
or we find there was good cause for missing the deadline, we will 
schedule the claimant for an in person hearing, with one limited 
exception. If a claimant moves to a different residence while his or 
her request for a hearing is pending, we will determine whether the 
claimant will appear in person or by video teleconferencing, even if 
the claimant previously objected to appearing by video 
teleconferencing. In addition, in order for us to consider a change in 
residence when scheduling a hearing, the claimant must submit evidence 
verifying a new residence. After we receive evidence regarding the 
claimant's new residence, we will decide how the claimant's appearance 
will be made. This limited exception to the rule allows us to protect 
the integrity of our programs while providing us with the flexibility 
to transfer cases when there is a legitimate change in residence and we 
can process the case more efficiently.

Time Period for Objecting to a Hearing

    In these final rules, we also specified the time period for 
objecting to the time and place of a hearing. To ensure that we have 
adequate time to prepare for the hearing, we require that a claimant 
notify us of an objection in writing at the earliest possible 
opportunity, but not later than 5 days before the date set for the 
hearing or, if earlier, 30 days after receiving notice of the hearing. 
If the claimant objects to the time and place of the hearing outside of 
the specified time period and fails to attend the hearing, the ALJ will 
follow existing sub-regulatory authority to develop good cause for 
failure to appear. We also adopted other minor revisions in the final 
rules to clarify when we will reschedule a hearing for good cause. For 
instance, we removed the example that a claimant might offer living 
closer to another hearing site as a good cause reason to object to the 
time and place of the hearing.

Appearing at the Hearing by Telephone

    To further reduce the need to reschedule hearings and to improve 
our efficiency, we provide that the ALJ may determine that 
extraordinary circumstances exist to schedule the claimant, or any 
other party to the hearing, to appear at the hearing by telephone. For 
example, an ALJ will direct a claimant or other party to the hearing to 
appear by telephone when the person's appearance in person is not 
possible, such as when the person is incarcerated, the correctional 
facility will not allow a hearing to be held at the facility, and video 
teleconferencing is not available. The flexibility in the final rule 
allows us to continue the practice of scheduling a hearing by telephone 
when the claimant specifically requests a hearing in this manner, and 
the ALJ determines that extraordinary circumstances prevent the 
claimant or other party who makes the request from appearing at the 
hearing in person or by video teleconferencing.
    As we noted in the NPRM, we spend significant administrative 
resources arranging in person hearings with officials of correctional 
facilities. It also reduces our productivity when an ALJ travels to a 
confinement facility to hold one or two hearings rather than conducting 
a full hearing docket. These final rules will save administrative 
resources and allow us to provide more timely hearings to all claimants 
because the ALJ will be present in the hearing office to conduct a full 
hearing docket.

Part 405

    In the final rule, we adopted several changes to Part 405 for 
consistency with the rules in Parts 404 and 416. We adopted changes 
relating to video teleconferencing and hearing appearances by telephone 
in extraordinary circumstances, as described above. For consistency 
with our pilot program \3\ in all regions except Boston, we also 
adopted changes allowing the agency, rather than the ALJ, to set the 
time and place for hearing.
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    \3\ See 20 CFR 404.936(a) and (h), and 416.1436(a) and (h).
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Public Comments on the NPRM

    In the NPRM, we provided a 60-day comment period, which ended on 
August 26, 2013. We carefully considered the 13 public comments we 
received. Because some of the comments were lengthy, we summarize them 
below. We present the commenters' concerns and suggestions and respond 
to the significant issues relevant to this rulemaking. We do not 
respond to comments, or portions of comments, that are outside the 
scope of this rulemaking proceeding.
    Comment: One commenter indicated that ALJs will not be able to 
adequately see and observe claimants if they were scheduled to appear 
via video teleconferencing. Another commenter argued that it is unfair 
if claimants have to wait longer for in-person hearings. Both 
commenters essentially argued that hearings held by video 
teleconferencing violate claimants' due process rights.
    Response: We disagree with the concerns raised in these comments. 
First, it is important to reiterate that under these final rules 
claimants will generally continue to have the right to appear in person 
at a scheduled hearing if they timely object to appearing via video 
teleconferencing. Furthermore, our regulations have allowed claimants 
to appear via video teleconferencing at our hearings since 2003.\4\ In 
our experience holding hearings by video teleconference, we have found 
that ALJs are able to observe a claimant adequately. As our resources 
permit, we continue to improve our video teleconferencing equipment for 
hearings, and we manage cases as effectively as possible to provide 
claimants hearings in the timeliest method available.
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    \4\ 68 FR 5210 and 68 FR 69003.
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    We also disagree with the commenters' concerns that a hearing held 
by video teleconferencing can adversely affect a claimant's right to 
due process. A number of Federal courts have held that hearings 
conducted via video teleconferencing adequately protect a claimant's 
due process rights.\5\

[[Page 35928]]

Thus, claimants who appear at the hearing by video teleconferencing 
receive due process, regardless of the wait time for an in-person 
hearing or the use of video teleconferencing equipment.
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    \5\ Lipp v. Astrue, No. 2:09-cv-991, 2010 WL 4719454 at *11 
(S.D. Ohio Oct. 5, 2010) (Magistrate Judge's Report and 
Recommendation), adopted by district court, 2010 WL 4718763 (S.D. 
Ohio November 15, 2010), Evans v. Astrue, No. 4:08-cv-66, 2010 WL 
276119 (E.D. Tenn. Jan. 15, 2010) (Order adopting and attaching 
Magistrate Judge's Report and Recommendation).
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    Comment: Two commenters recommended that the first option should be 
to schedule in person hearings. If the claimant cannot attend the 
scheduled hearing, then the commenters suggested that, rather than 
opting out, the claimant should be able to request to appear via 
telephone or video teleconferencing. One commenter noted this was a 
concern for claimants who are homeless.
    Response: As discussed above, under these final rules claimants 
will continue to have the right to appear in person at a scheduled 
hearing if they timely object to appearing via video teleconferencing, 
unless an exception exists. Since our agency began using the video 
teleconferencing process for hearings, claimants have been required to 
opt out of appearing at a hearing via video teleconferencing, and this 
process has operated efficiently for us over the last 10 years. 
Requiring claimants to opt into appearing at a hearing via video 
teleconferencing could potentially delay scheduled hearings, create 
additional staff work, and cost us valuable resources. This would 
likely result in diminished overall public service, especially to 
claimants who have critical cases, including homeless claimants. 
Furthermore, we anticipate holding a small number of hearings via 
telephone because our final rules provide that we will schedule a 
claimant to appear via telephone only when the claimant's appearance in 
person is not possible, or if the ALJ determines that extraordinary 
circumstances prevent the claimant or another party from appearing at 
the hearing in person or by video teleconferencing. Therefore, these 
final rules continue to give the claimant the option to appear in 
person, except in limited circumstances, while balancing our needs for 
administrative efficiency.
    Comment: Several commenters raised a concern about the limited 
exception to the right to decline a hearing by video teleconferencing. 
Under the proposed rules, we retained the right to schedule claimants 
to appear at the hearing via video teleconferencing if they change 
residence while the case is pending, even if they have timely objected 
to appearing by video teleconferencing. The commenters noted that many 
claimants have legitimate reasons to move, often involving financial 
hardships, and the reason a claimant requests an in-person hearing does 
not change when they move.
    Response: We agree that most claimants have legitimate reasons for 
changing residences; however, as noted in the preamble of the NPRM (78 
FR at 38611), and reiterated in this final rule, we are concerned that 
some claimants or their appointed representatives may be misusing our 
procedures regarding a change in residence to undermine the random 
assignment of cases to our ALJs. We are aware of situations in which a 
representative instructed claimants to report a change of address, 
which was not a change of residence, so that cases would be reassigned 
to a different hearing office with higher allowance rates. As a result 
of such practices, we must have a means to ensure the integrity of our 
program.
    We anticipate that we will apply this exception infrequently. For 
example, one of the commenters expressed concern that we should not 
apply the exception if a claimant moves within the same servicing area 
after an in-person hearing is scheduled. These final rules give us 
discretion to address this concern. Since the claimant would not be 
trying to gain an advantage by changing residence address, and the same 
hearing office would process the case, we would not expect the ALJ 
assigned to the case to apply the exception. In another example, if a 
claimant changes residences to a different servicing area, there is no 
additional delay to schedule the claimant to appear in person at the 
hearing, and we have no indication that the claimant is attempting to 
manipulate the assignment of the case to another ALJ, then we would use 
our discretion to schedule the hearing in person, in accordance with 
the claimant's initial objection. Therefore, we have not deleted the 
exception we proposed, as some of the commenters requested. Under these 
final rules, we continue to include a limited exception that would 
allow us to schedule claimants to appear at the hearing via video 
teleconferencing if they change residence while the case is pending, 
even if they have timely objected to appearing by video 
teleconferencing.
    Comment: One commenter indicated that the proposed regulations 
allowing a claimant to opt out of a hearing held by video 
teleconferencing within 30 days of a notice, in most instances, should 
be more aggressive. The commenter suggested that claimants should not 
have the right to object to appearing at hearings via video 
teleconferencing.
    Response: We disagree with this comment. As explained above, we 
have allowed claimants to request an in-person hearing since we began 
the video teleconferencing program in 2003. The commenter's suggestion 
to eliminate any possibility for opting out of appearing at a hearing 
via video teleconferencing would not be consistent with our prior 
practice or, even further, allow us to accommodate an in-person hearing 
when it would result in more timely and efficient case adjudication. 
Therefore, we have determined that we will continue to allow claimants 
to opt out of appearing at a hearing via video teleconferencing if they 
timely object to appearing by video teleconferencing. The change we are 
making in these rules allows us to balance claimants' needs for 
adequate time to make an informed decision about how to appear at 
hearing with our needs for program integrity and administrative 
efficiency.
    Comment: Another commenter suggested that appointed representatives 
should be able to appear via telephone or video teleconferencing and in 
a different location than the claimants they represent. The commenter 
also indicated that representatives should be allowed to have video 
teleconferencing equipment in their offices.
    Response: We do not need to revise these rules in response to the 
commenter's suggestion because we already have in place a mechanism 
similar to what the commenter requested. In 2008, we developed and 
began using an agency initiative, the Representative Video Project 
(RVP) that authorizes representatives to use their own video 
teleconferencing equipment for video hearings under certain 
circumstances. The RVP provides efficient and cost effective methods 
for conducting hearings. Under the RVP initiative, the claimant and his 
or her representative must both appear from the same representative-
owned video teleconferencing site except in instances where the ALJ 
determines that it is in the best interest of the claimant to permit 
the claimant and his or her appointed representative to appear from 
separate locations.
    Comment: One commenter recommended a handout guide of the agency's 
business process when claimants opt out of appearing at a hearing via 
video teleconferencing. A sample guide was included with the comment. 
The commenter agreed with the proposed regulations regarding the time 
period to object to a hearing by video teleconferencing and suggested 
business process revisions to implement the final rules.

[[Page 35929]]

    Response: We considered the comment and the work the commenter put 
into creating the guide. Once these final rules are published, we will 
update our sub-regulatory authority and business processes to be 
consistent with the rules, and we will consider whether any other 
resource for the public may be necessary.
    Comment: One commenter questioned whether the specific hearing 
office would be listed on the notice sent to claimants indicating that 
they have 30 days to object to a hearing held via video 
teleconferencing. The commenter, who was a representative, indicated 
concern about practicing before unfamiliar hearing offices.
    Response: We considered this concern, and we may or may not include 
specific hearing office addresses on notices to claimants about their 
right to request an in-person hearing within the required time period. 
Regardless of whether hearing office addresses are included, we operate 
a nationwide program at the hearing level, and all hearing offices 
follow the same regulations, policies, and procedures.\6\ Therefore, 
representatives can effectively represent claimants at any hearing 
office. We note that ALJs have some limited variances in how they 
manage their cases, including requesting pre-hearing briefs. Under this 
process, we will continue to provide representatives with prior notice 
of the name of the ALJ assigned to a hearing and will continue to 
provide in advance any specific instructions from the ALJ that may 
affect how a representative prepares his or her case. We note that this 
same potential for minor variances among ALJs currently exists in 
individual hearing offices. Thus, the final rules do not significantly 
affect how a representative practices before us.
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    \6\ We note that regulations that apply only in the Boston 
Region allow for some variances in hearing office practices. 20 CFR 
405.1 through 405.901.
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    Comment: Multiple commenters raised the concern that there was no 
``good cause'' exception for extending the 30-day time period to object 
to appearing at the hearing via video teleconferencing or to object to 
the time and place of the hearing.
    Response: We agree with these commenters. There may be legitimate 
instances when a claimant may not be able to object to appearing at a 
hearing via video teleconferencing or to the time or place of hearing 
within the stated time period, including, but not limited to, serious 
illness or death in the family. Consistent with our other regulations 
that provide a good cause exception to filing deadlines, we revised the 
final rules to allow the ALJ to determine whether the claimant had good 
cause to file an objection outside the time period specified to object 
to appearing at a hearing via video teleconferencing or to the time and 
place of a hearing. The final rules state that ALJs will use the 
standard for good cause set forth in our current regulations at 20 CFR 
404.911, 405.20, and 416.1411 to evaluate these late filings.
    Comment: One commenter suggested that the proposed regulation 
allowing for a 5-day time period for objecting to the time and place of 
the hearing was too short. The commenter suggested the period should be 
longer.
    Response: We considered this comment, but we disagree with it. The 
final rules provide that claimants must notify us in writing that they 
object to the time and place of the hearing at the earliest possible 
opportunity, but not later than 5 days before the date set for the 
hearing or 30 days after receiving notice of the hearing, whichever is 
earlier. In fiscal year 2012, we averaged scheduling hearings 
nationwide at least 60 days in advance. With this advance scheduling, 
most claimants will be required to object 30 days after receiving 
notice of the hearing, which allows us sufficient time to reschedule 
the hearing. In the limited circumstances where we schedule claimants' 
hearing between 20 to 35 days prior to the hearing, we need to allow 
claimants adequate time to consider whether they will object to the 
time and place of the hearing that may cause the hearing to be 
rescheduled at a later time. The final rules address both scenarios and 
give claimants adequate time to decide if they are going to object to 
the time and place of their hearing.
    Comment: Several commenters recommended that we should retain 
living closer to another hearing site as a reason for to find good 
cause to change the time and place of a hearing. The commenters noted 
that it might be more difficult for a claimant to travel to another 
office that is further away from his or her residence.
    Response: We disagree with the concerns raised in these comments. 
As noted previously, we are concerned that claimants or their appointed 
representatives may be misusing our procedures regarding a change in 
residence to undermine the random assignment of cases to our ALJs. We 
need to protect the integrity of our program and ensure that ALJs only 
reschedule a hearing for good cause. It may be appropriate, in some 
instances, for ALJs to determine that good cause exists to change the 
time and place of a hearing based on the claimant's residence. However, 
removing this reason makes the final rules more consistent and protects 
the integrity of our programs.
    Comment: Multiple commenters noted that more limits were necessary 
on the use of telephone hearings. Specifically, commenters recommended 
that claimants should be able to object to appearing by telephone. They 
raised concerns about claimants or representatives who have hearing 
impairments and whether we will make reasonable accommodations in these 
situations.
    Response: We considered these concerns. However, the final rules 
make clear that an ALJ will direct a claimant's appearance by telephone 
under two limited circumstances. First, an ALJ will direct a claimant 
to appear by telephone when the claimant's appearance in person is not 
possible, such as if the claimant is incarcerated, the facility will 
not allow a hearing to be held at the facility, and video 
teleconferencing is not available. Second, an ALJ will direct a 
claimant to appear by telephone if the ALJ determines, either on his or 
her own initiative, or at the request of the claimant or another party, 
that extraordinary circumstances prevent the claimant from appearing in 
person or by video teleconferencing.
    Since an ALJ will direct a claimant's appearance by telephone only 
under certain limited circumstances, we do not believe it is necessary 
or appropriate to provide the claimant with an opportunity to object to 
the mode of this appearance. However, we will use this provision on a 
limited basis, and its goal is to promote efficiency of hearings. We 
believe the policy is consistent with our goal of making the hearing 
process more efficient for claimants because appearing by telephone 
will allow claimants to have their hearings before an ALJ in the 
shortest possible time period.
    Claimants who are scheduled to appear by telephone will receive the 
same due process rights currently available to all claimants. This 
includes the right to object to the time or place of hearing under 20 
CFR 404.936(d), 405.317, and 416.1436(d), which have been revised 
accordingly. Regardless of the mode of appearance, we will also 
continue to make reasonable accommodations for all claimants and 
representatives. Therefore, we will adequately protect a claimants' 
rights without placing additional limitations on our ability to 
schedule a claimant's appearance at a hearing by telephone.

[[Page 35930]]

Regulatory Procedures

Executive Order 12866 as Supplemented by Executive Order 13563

    We consulted with the Office of Management and Budget (OMB) and 
determined that these final rules meet the requirements for a 
significant regulatory action under Executive Order 12866 as 
supplemented by Executive Order 13563. Thus, OMB reviewed these final 
rules.

Regulatory Flexibility Act

    We certify that these final rules will not have a significant 
economic impact on a substantial number of small entities because they 
only affect individuals. Accordingly, a regulatory flexibility analysis 
as provided in the Regulatory Flexibility Act, as amended, is not 
required.

Paperwork Reduction Act

    These final rules contain public reporting requirements in the 
regulation sections listed below. We are seeking approval for these 
regulation sections and for a new SSA form, which we will use to 
collect the information required by these sections. Below we provide 
burden estimates for the public reporting requirements.

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                                                                                             Number of                    Average burden
               Regulation section                    Description of public reporting        respondents    Frequency of    per response      Estimated
                                                               requirement                  (annually)       response        (minutes)     annual burden
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404.936(c)(1); 405.317(a)(1); 416.1436(d)(1)...  For us to consider your change in                45,000               1               5           3,750
                                                  residence, you must submit evidence
                                                  verifying your new residence.
404.963(c)(2); 405.317(a)(2); 416.1436(d)(2)...  If you notify us more than 30 days               13,500               1              10           2,250
                                                  after the date you receive our notice
                                                  that you object to appearing by video
                                                  teleconference, we will extend the
                                                  time period if you show good cause for
                                                  missing the deadline.
405.317(c).....................................  If you believe the issues contained in           45,000               1               5           3,750
                                                  the notice are incorrect, you should
                                                  notify the ALJ no later than 5 days
                                                  before the date of the hearing; you
                                                  must state the reason(s) for objection.
404.936(d); 405.317(a); 416.1436(d)............  If you object to video teleconferencing         850,000               1               5          70,833
                                                  you must notify us in writing within
                                                  30 days after you receive the notice.
404.936(e); 405.317(b); 416.1436(e)............  You must notify us if you wish to               900,000               1              30         450,000
                                                  object to the time and place in
                                                  writing no later than 5 days prior to
                                                  hearing or 30 days after receiving
                                                  notice of hearing; you must state the
                                                  reason(s) for objection and state the
                                                  time and place you want the hearing
                                                  held.
404.936(e)(1); 405.317(b)(1); 416.1436(e)(1)...  If you notify us less than 5 days prior           5,000               1               5             417
                                                  to hearing, or more than 30 days after
                                                  receiving notice of hearing, we will
                                                  extend the time period if you show
                                                  good cause for missing the deadline.
404.938(a); 405.316(a); 416.1438(a)............  Indication in writing that respondent             4,000               1               2             133
                                                  does not wish to receive notice of
                                                  hearing.
                                                                                         ---------------------------------------------------------------
    Total......................................  .......................................       1,862,500  ..............  ..............         531,133
--------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------

    SSA submitted an Information Collection Request for clearance to 
OMB. We are soliciting comments on the burden estimate; the need for 
the information; its practical utility; ways to enhance its quality, 
utility, and clarity; and ways to minimize the burden on respondents, 
including the use of automated techniques or other forms of information 
technology. If you would like to submit comments, please send them to 
the following locations:

Office of Management and Budget, Attn: Desk Officer for SSA, Fax 
Number: 202-395-6974, Email address: OIRA_Submission@omb.eop.gov.
Social Security Administration, OLCA, Attn: Reports Clearance Director, 
3100 West High Rise, 6401 Security Blvd., Baltimore, MD 21235, Fax: 
410-966-2830, Email address: OR.Reports.Clearance@ssa.gov.

    You can submit comments until July 25, 2014, which is 30 days after 
the publication of this rule. To receive a copy of the OMB clearance 
package, contact the SSA Reports Clearance Officer using any of the 
above contact methods. We prefer to receive comments by email or fax.

(Catalog of Federal Domestic Assistance Program Nos. 96.001, Social 
Security--Disability Insurance; 96.002, Social Security--Retirement 
Insurance; 96.004, Social Security--Survivors Insurance; and 96.006, 
Supplemental Security Income)

List of Subjects

20 CFR Part 404

    Administrative practice and procedure, Blind, Disability benefits, 
Old-Age, Survivors, and Disability Insurance, Reporting and 
recordkeeping requirements, Social Security.

20 CFR Part 405

    Administrative practice and procedure, Blind, Disability benefits, 
Old-Age, Survivors, and Disability Insurance, Public assistance 
programs, Reporting and recordkeeping requirements, Social Security, 
Supplemental Security Income (SSI).

20 CFR Part 416

    Administrative practice and procedure, Aged, Blind, Disability 
benefits, Public assistance programs, Reporting and recordkeeping 
requirements, Supplemental Security Income (SSI).

    Dated: April 10, 2014.
Carolyn W. Colvin,
Acting Commissioner of Social Security.
    For the reasons set out in the preamble, we are amending 20 CFR

[[Page 35931]]

chapter III, parts 404, 405, and 416, as set forth below:

PART 404--FEDERAL OLD-AGE, SURVIVORS AND DISABILITY INSURANCE 
(1950- )

Subpart J--Determinations, Administrative Review Process, and 
Reopening of Determinations and Decisions

0
1. The authority citation for subpart J of part 404 continues to read 
as follows:

    Authority: Secs. 201(j), 204(f), 205(a)-(b), (d)-(h), and (j), 
221, 223(i), 225, and 702(a)(5) of the Social Security Act (42 
U.S.C. 401(j), 404(f), 405(a)-(b), (d)-(h), and (j), 421, 423(i), 
425, and 902(a)(5)); sec. 5, Pub. L. 97-455, 96 Stat. 2500 (42 
U.S.C. 405 note); secs. 5, 6(c)-(e), and 15, Pub. L. 98-460, 98 
Stat. 1802 (42 U.S.C. 421 note); sec. 202, Pub. L. 108-203, 118 
Stat. 509 (42 U.S.C. 902 note).


0
2. Revise Sec.  404.929 to read as follows:


Sec.  404.929  Hearing before an administrative law judge-general.

    If you are dissatisfied with one of the determinations or decisions 
listed in Sec.  404.930, you may request a hearing. The Deputy 
Commissioner for Disability Adjudication and Review, or his or her 
delegate, will appoint an administrative law judge to conduct the 
hearing. If circumstances warrant, the Deputy Commissioner, or his or 
her delegate, may assign your case to another administrative law judge. 
At the hearing, you may appear in person, by video teleconferencing, 
or, under certain extraordinary circumstances, by telephone. You may 
submit new evidence, examine the evidence used in making the 
determination or decision under review, and present and question 
witnesses. The administrative law judge who conducts the hearing may 
ask you questions. He or she will issue a decision based on the 
preponderance of the evidence in the hearing record. If you waive your 
right to appear at the hearing, in person, by video teleconferencing, 
or by telephone, the administrative law judge will make a decision 
based on the preponderance of the evidence that is in the file and any 
new evidence that may have been submitted for consideration.

0
3. In Sec.  404.936, revise paragraphs (b) and (c)(1), redesignate 
paragraphs (d) through (h) as paragraphs (e) through (i), add a new 
paragraph (d), and revise redesignated paragraphs (e) and (f), to read 
as follows:


Sec.  404.936  Time and place for a hearing before an administrative 
law judge.

* * * * *
    (b) Where we hold hearings. We hold hearings in the 50 States, the 
District of Columbia, American Samoa, Guam, the Northern Mariana 
Islands, the Commonwealth of Puerto Rico, and the United States Virgin 
Islands. The ``place'' of the hearing is the hearing office or other 
site(s) at which you and any other parties to the hearing are located 
when you make your appearance(s) before the administrative law judge, 
whether in person, by video teleconferencing, or by telephone.
    (c) * * *
    (1) We will consult with the administrative law judge to determine 
the status of case preparation and to determine whether your 
appearance, or the appearance of any other party to the hearing, will 
be made in person, by video teleconferencing or, under extraordinary 
circumstances, by telephone. The administrative law judge will 
determine that your appearance, or the appearance of any other party to 
the hearing, be conducted by video teleconferencing if video 
teleconferencing equipment is available to conduct the appearance, use 
of video teleconferencing to conduct the appearance would be more 
efficient than conducting the appearance in person, and the 
administrative law judge determines that there is no circumstance in 
the particular case that prevents the use of video teleconferencing to 
conduct the appearance. The administrative law judge will direct you or 
another party to the hearing to appear by telephone when:
    (i) An appearance in person is not possible, such as if you are 
incarcerated, the facility will not allow a hearing to be held at the 
facility, and video teleconferencing is not available; or
    (ii) The administrative law judge determines, either on his or her 
own, or at your request or at the request of any other party to the 
hearing, that extraordinary circumstances prevent you or another party 
to the hearing from appearing at the hearing in person or by video 
teleconferencing.
* * * * *
    (d) Objecting to appearing by video teleconferencing. Prior to 
scheduling your hearing, we will notify you that we may schedule you to 
appear by video teleconferencing. If you object to appearing by video 
teleconferencing, you must notify us in writing within 30 days after 
the date you receive the notice. If you notify us within that time 
period and your residence does not change while your request for 
hearing is pending, we will set your hearing for a time and place at 
which you may make your appearance before the administrative law judge 
in person.
    (1) Notwithstanding any objections you may have to appearing by 
video teleconferencing, if you change your residence while your request 
for hearing is pending, we may determine how you will appear, including 
by video teleconferencing, as provided in paragraph (c)(1) of this 
section. For us to consider your change of residence when we schedule 
your hearing, you must submit evidence verifying your new residence.
    (2) If you notify us that you object to appearing by video 
teleconferencing more than 30 days after the date you receive our 
notice, we will extend the time period if you show you had good cause 
for missing the deadline. To determine whether good cause exists for 
extending the deadline, we use the standards explained in Sec.  
404.911.
    (e) Objecting to the time or place of the hearing. If you object to 
the time or place of the hearing, you must:
    (1) Notify us in writing at the earliest possible opportunity, but 
not later than 5 days before the date set for the hearing or 30 days 
after receiving notice of the hearing, whichever is earlier (or within 
the extended time period if we extend the time as provided in paragraph 
(e)(3) of this section); and
    (2) State the reason(s) for your objection and state the time and 
place you want the hearing to be held. We will change the time or place 
of the hearing if the administrative law judge finds you have good 
cause, as determined under paragraph (f) of this section. Section 
404.938 provides procedures we will follow when you do not respond to a 
notice of hearing.
    (3) If you notify us that you object to the time or place of 
hearing less than 5 days before the date set for the hearing or, if 
earlier, more than 30 days after receiving notice of the hearing, we 
will extend the time period if you show you had good cause for missing 
the deadline. To determine whether good cause exists for extending the 
deadline, we use the standards explained in Sec.  404.911.
    (f) Good cause for changing the time or place. The administrative 
law judge will determine whether good cause exists for changing the 
time or place of your scheduled hearing. However, a finding that good 
cause exists to reschedule the time or place of your hearing will not 
change the assignment of the administrative law judge for your case, 
unless we determine reassignment will promote more efficient 
administration of the hearing process.
    (1) We will reschedule your hearing, if your reason is one of the 
following circumstances and is supported by the evidence:

[[Page 35932]]

    (i) A serious physical or mental condition or incapacitating injury 
makes it impossible for you or your representative to travel to the 
hearing, or a death in the family occurs; or
    (ii) Severe weather conditions make it impossible for you or your 
representative to travel to the hearing.
    (2) In determining whether good cause exists in circumstances other 
than those set out in paragraph (f)(1) of this section, the 
administrative law judge will consider your reason(s) for requesting 
the change, the facts supporting it, and the impact of the proposed 
change on the efficient administration of the hearing process. Factors 
affecting the impact of the change include, but are not limited to, the 
effect on the processing of other scheduled hearings, delays that might 
occur in rescheduling your hearing, and whether we previously granted 
you any changes in the time or place of your hearing. Examples of such 
other circumstances that you might give for requesting a change in the 
time or place of the hearing include, but are not limited to, the 
following:
    (i) You unsuccessfully attempted to obtain a representative and 
need additional time to secure representation;
    (ii) Your representative was appointed within 30 days of the 
scheduled hearing and needs additional time to prepare for the hearing;
    (iii) Your representative has a prior commitment to be in court or 
at another administrative hearing on the date scheduled for the 
hearing;
    (iv) A witness who will testify to facts material to your case 
would be unavailable to attend the scheduled hearing and the evidence 
cannot be otherwise obtained;
    (v) Transportation is not readily available for you to travel to 
the hearing; or
    (vi) You are unrepresented, and you are unable to respond to the 
notice of hearing because of any physical, mental, educational, or 
linguistic limitations (including any lack of facility with the English 
language) which you may have.
* * * * *

0
4. In Sec.  404.938, revise paragraph (b) to read as follows:


Sec.  404.938  Notice of a hearing before an administrative law judge.

* * * * *
    (b) Notice information. The notice of hearing will contain a 
statement of the specific issues to be decided and tell you that you 
may designate a person to represent you during the proceedings. The 
notice will also contain an explanation of the procedures for 
requesting a change in the time or place of your hearing, a reminder 
that if you fail to appear at your scheduled hearing without good cause 
the administrative law judge may dismiss your hearing request, and 
other information about the scheduling and conduct of your hearing. You 
will also be told if your appearance or that of any other party or 
witness is scheduled to be made in person, by video teleconferencing, 
or by telephone. If we have scheduled you to appear at the hearing by 
video teleconferencing, the notice of hearing will tell you that the 
scheduled place for the hearing is a video teleconferencing site and 
explain what it means to appear at your hearing by video 
teleconferencing.
* * * * *

PART 405--ADMINISTRATIVE REVIEW PROCESS FOR ADJUDICATING INITIAL 
DISABILITY CLAIMS

0
5. The authority citation for part 405 continues to read as follows:

    Authority:  Secs. 201(j), 205(a)-(b), (d)-(h), and (s), 221, 
223(a)-(b), 702(a)(5), 1601, 1602, 1631, and 1633 of the Social 
Security Act (42 U.S.C. 401(j), 405(a)-(b), (d)-(h), and (s), 421, 
423(a)-(b), 902(a)(5), 1381, 1381a, 1383, and 1383(b).

0
6. In Sec.  405.315, revise paragraphs (a), (b), and (c)(1), and add 
new paragraphs (d) and (e), to read as follows:


Sec.  405.315  Time and place for a hearing before an administrative 
law judge.

    (a) General. We may set the time and place for the hearing. We may 
change the time and place, if it is necessary. If we change the time 
and place of the hearing, we will send you reasonable notice of the 
change. We will notify you of the time and place of the hearing at 
least 75 days before the date of the hearing, unless you agree to a 
shorter notice period.
    (b) Where we hold hearings. We hold hearings in the 50 States, the 
District of Columbia, American Samoa, Guam, the Northern Mariana 
Islands, the Commonwealth of Puerto Rico, and the United States Virgin 
Islands. The ``place'' of the hearing is the hearing office or other 
site(s) at which you and any other parties to the hearing are located 
when you make your appearance(s) before the administrative law judge, 
whether in person, by video teleconferencing, or by telephone.
    (c) * * *
    (1) We will consult with the administrative law judge to determine 
the status of case preparation and to determine whether your 
appearance, or the appearance of any other party to the hearing, will 
be made in person or by video teleconferencing or, under extraordinary 
circumstances, by telephone. The administrative law judge will 
determine that your appearance, or the appearance of any other party to 
the hearing, be conducted by video teleconferencing if video 
teleconferencing equipment is available to conduct the appearance, use 
of video teleconferencing to conduct the appearance would be more 
efficient than conducting the appearance in person, and the 
administrative law judge determines that there is no circumstance in 
the particular case that prevents the use of video teleconferencing to 
conduct the appearance. The administrative law judge will direct you to 
appear by telephone when:
    (i) An appearance in person is not possible, such as if you are 
incarcerated, the facility will not allow a hearing to be held at the 
facility, and video teleconferencing is not available; or
    (ii) The administrative law judge determines, either on his or her 
own, or at your request or at the request of any other party to the 
hearing, that extraordinary circumstances prevent you or another party 
to the hearing from appearing at the hearing in person or by video 
teleconferencing.
* * * * *
    (d) Consultation procedures. Before we exercise the authority to 
set the time and place for an administrative law judge's hearings, we 
will consult with the appropriate hearing office chief administrative 
law judge to determine if there are any reasons why we should not set 
the time and place of the administrative law judge's hearings. If the 
hearing office chief administrative law judge does not state a reason 
that we believe justifies the limited number of hearings scheduled by 
the administrative law judge, we will then consult with the 
administrative law judge before deciding whether to begin to exercise 
our authority to set the time and place for the administrative law 
judge's hearings. If the hearing office chief administrative law judge 
states a reason that we believe justifies the limited number of 
hearings scheduled by the administrative law judge, we will not 
exercise our authority to set the time and place for the administrative 
law judge's hearings. We will work with the hearing office chief 
administrative law judge to identify those circumstances where we can 
assist the administrative law judge and address any impediment that may 
affect the scheduling of hearings.
    (e) Pilot program. The provisions in the first three sentences of 
paragraph (a), the first sentence of paragraph (c)(1), and paragraph 
(d) of this section are a

[[Page 35933]]

pilot program. These provisions will no longer be effective on August 
9, 2014, unless we terminate them earlier or extend them beyond that 
date by notice of a final rule in the Federal Register.

0
7. In Sec.  405.316, revise paragraphs (a) and (b)(5), to read as 
follows:


Sec.  405.316  Notice of a hearing before an administrative law judge.

    (a) Issuing the notice. After we set the time and place of the 
hearing, we will mail notice of the hearing to you at your last known 
address, or give the notice to you by personal service, unless you have 
indicated in writing that you do not wish to receive this notice. We 
will mail or serve the notice at least 75 days before the date of the 
hearing, unless you agree to a shorter notice period.
    (b) * * *
    (5) Whether your appearance or that of any witness is scheduled to 
be made in person, by video teleconferencing, or by telephone. If we 
have scheduled you to appear at the hearing by video teleconferencing, 
the notice of hearing will tell you that the scheduled place for the 
hearing is a video teleconferencing site and explain what it means to 
appear at your hearing by video teleconferencing.
* * * * *

0
8. Revise Sec.  405.317 to read as follows:


Sec.  405.317  Objections.

    (a) Objecting to appearing by video teleconferencing. Prior to 
scheduling your hearing, we will notify you that we may schedule you to 
appear by video teleconferencing. If you object to appearing by video 
teleconferencing, you must notify us in writing within 30 days after 
the date you receive the notice. If you notify us within that time 
period and your residence does not change while your request for 
hearing is pending, we will set your hearing for a time and place at 
which you may make your appearance before the administrative law judge 
in person.
    (1) Notwithstanding any objections you may have to appearing by 
video teleconferencing, if you change your residence while your request 
for hearing is pending, we may determine how you will appear, including 
by video teleconferencing, as provided in Sec.  405.315(c). For us to 
consider your change of residence when we schedule your hearing, you 
must submit evidence verifying your new residence.
    (2) If you notify us that you object to appearing by video 
teleconferencing more than 30 days after the date you receive our 
notice, we will extend the time period if you show you had good cause 
for missing the deadline. To determine whether good cause exists for 
extending the deadline, we use the standards explained in Sec.  405.20.
    (b) Objecting to the time and place of the hearing. If you object 
to the time or place of your hearing, you must:
    (1) Notify us in writing at the earliest possible opportunity 
before the date set for the hearing, but not later than 30 days after 
receiving notice of the hearing. If you notify us that you object to 
the time or place of hearing more than 30 days after receiving notice 
of the hearing, we will extend the time period if you show you had good 
cause for missing the deadline. To determine whether good cause exists 
for extending the deadline, we use the standards explained in Sec.  
405.20; and
    (2) State the reason(s) for your objection and state the time and 
place you want the hearing to be held. The administrative law judge 
will consider your reason(s) for requesting the change, the facts 
supporting it, and the impact of the proposed change on the efficient 
administration of the hearing process. Factors affecting the impact of 
the change include, but are not limited to, the effect on the 
processing of other scheduled hearings, delays that might occur in 
rescheduling your hearing, and whether we previously granted you any 
changes in the time or place of your hearing. However, an objection to 
the time or place of your hearing will not change the assignment of the 
administrative law judge for your case, unless we determine 
reassignment will promote more efficient administration of the hearing 
process.
    (c) Issues. If you believe that the issues contained in the hearing 
notice are incorrect, you should notify the administrative law judge in 
writing at the earliest possible opportunity, but you must notify him 
or her no later than 5 business days before the date set for the 
hearing. You must state the reason(s) for your objection. The 
administrative law judge will make a decision on your objection either 
at the hearing or in writing before the hearing.

0
9. In Sec.  405.350, revise the first sentence of paragraph (a) to read 
as follows:


Sec.  405.350  Presenting evidence at a hearing before an 
administrative law judge.

    (a) * * * You have a right to appear before the administrative law 
judge, either in person or, when the administrative law judge 
determines that the conditions in Sec.  405.315(c) exist, by video 
teleconferencing or telephone, to present evidence and to state your 
position. * * *
* * * * *

PART 416--SUPPLEMENTAL SECURITY INCOME FOR THE AGED, BLIND, AND 
DISABLED

Subpart N--Determinations, Administrative Review Process, and 
Reopening of Determinations and Decisions

0
10. The authority citation for subpart N of part 416 continues to read 
as follows:

    Authority: Secs. 702(a)(5), 1631, and 1633 of the Social 
Security Act (42 U.S.C. 902(a)(5), 1383, and 1383b); sec. 202, Pub. 
L. 108-203, 118 Stat. 509 (42 U.S.C. 902 note).


0
11. Revise Sec.  416.1429 to read as follows:


Sec.  416.1429  Hearing before an administrative law judge-general.

    If you are dissatisfied with one of the determinations or decisions 
listed in Sec.  416.1430, you may request a hearing. The Deputy 
Commissioner for Disability Adjudication and Review, or his or her 
delegate, will appoint an administrative law judge to conduct the 
hearing. If circumstances warrant, the Deputy Commissioner, or his or 
her delegate, may assign your case to another administrative law judge. 
At the hearing, you may appear in person, by video teleconferencing, 
or, under certain extraordinary circumstances, by telephone. You may 
submit new evidence, examine the evidence used in making the 
determination or decision under review, and present and question 
witnesses. The administrative law judge who conducts the hearing may 
ask you questions. He or she will issue a decision based on the 
preponderance of the evidence in the hearing record. If you waive your 
right to appear at the hearing, in person, by video teleconferencing, 
or by telephone, the administrative law judge will make a decision 
based on the preponderance of the evidence that is in the file and any 
new evidence that may have been submitted for consideration.

0
12. In Sec.  416.1436, revise paragraphs (b) and (c)(1), redesignate 
paragraphs (d) through (h) as paragraphs (e) through (i), add a new 
paragraph (d), and revise redesignated paragraphs (e) and (f), to read 
as follows:


Sec.  416.1436  Time and place for a hearing before an administrative 
law judge.

* * * * *
    (b) Where we hold hearings. We hold hearings in the 50 States, the 
District of Columbia, American Samoa, Guam, the Northern Mariana 
Islands, the Commonwealth of Puerto Rico, and the United States Virgin 
Islands. The ``place'' of the hearing is the hearing

[[Page 35934]]

office or other site(s) at which you and any other parties to the 
hearing are located when you make your appearance(s) before the 
administrative law judge, whether in person, by video teleconferencing, 
or by telephone.
    (c) * * *
    (1) We will consult with the administrative law judge to determine 
the status of case preparation and to determine whether your 
appearance, or the appearance of any other party to the hearing, will 
be made in person, by video teleconferencing or, under extraordinary 
circumstances, by telephone. The administrative law judge will 
determine that your appearance, or the appearance of any other party to 
the hearing, be conducted by video teleconferencing if video 
teleconferencing equipment is available to conduct the appearance, use 
of video teleconferencing to conduct the appearance would be more 
efficient than conducting the appearance in person, and the 
administrative law judge determines there is no circumstance in the 
particular case that prevents the use of video teleconferencing to 
conduct the appearance. The administrative law judge will direct you or 
another party to the hearing to appear by telephone when:
    (i) An appearance in person is not possible, such as if you are 
incarcerated, the facility will not allow a hearing to be held at the 
facility, and video teleconferencing is not available; or
    (ii) The administrative law judge determines, either on his or her 
own, or at your request or at the request of any other party to the 
hearing, that extraordinary circumstances prevent you or another party 
to the hearing from appearing at the hearing in person or by video 
teleconferencing.
* * * * *
    (d) Objecting to appearing by video teleconferencing. Prior to 
scheduling your hearing, we will notify you that we may schedule you to 
appear by video teleconferencing. If you object to appearing by video 
teleconferencing, you must notify us in writing within 30 days after 
the date you receive the notice. If you notify us within that time 
period and your residence does not change while your request for 
hearing is pending, we will set your hearing for a time and place at 
which you may make your appearance before the administrative law judge 
in person.
    (1) Notwithstanding any objections you may have to appearing by 
video teleconferencing, if you change your residence while your request 
for hearing is pending, we may determine how you will appear, including 
by video teleconferencing, as provided in paragraph (c)(1) of this 
section. For us to consider your change of residence when we schedule 
your hearing, you must submit evidence verifying your new residence.
    (2) If you notify us that you object to appearing by video 
teleconferencing more than 30 days after the date you receive our 
notice, we will extend the time period if you show you had good cause 
for missing the deadline. To determine whether good cause exists for 
extending the deadline, we use the standards explained in Sec.  
416.1411.
    (e) Objecting to the time or place of the hearing. If you object to 
the time or place of your hearing, you must:
    (1) Notify us in writing at the earliest possible opportunity, but 
not later than 5 days before the date set for the hearing or 30 days 
after receiving notice of the hearing, whichever is earlier (or within 
the extended time period if we extend the time as provided in paragraph 
(e)(3) of this section); and
    (2) State the reason(s) for your objection and state the time and 
place you want the hearing to be held. We will change the time or place 
of the hearing if the administrative law judge finds you have good 
cause, as determined under paragraph (f) of this section. Section 
416.1438 provides procedures we will follow when you do not respond to 
a notice of hearing.
    (3) If you notify us that you object to the time or place of 
hearing less than 5 days before the date set for the hearing or, if 
earlier, more than 30 days after receiving notice of the hearing, we 
will extend the time period if you show you had good cause for missing 
the deadline. To determine whether good cause exists for extending the 
deadline, we use the standards explained in Sec.  416.1411.
    (f) Good cause for changing the time or place. The administrative 
law judge will determine whether good cause exists for changing the 
time or place of your scheduled hearing. However, a finding that good 
cause exists to reschedule the time or place of your hearing will not 
change the assignment of the administrative law judge for your case, 
unless we determine reassignment will promote more efficient 
administration of the hearing process.
    (1) We will reschedule your hearing, if your reason is one of the 
following circumstances and is supported by the evidence:
    (i) A serious physical or mental condition or incapacitating injury 
makes it impossible for you or your representative to travel to the 
hearing, or a death in the family occurs; or
    (ii) Severe weather conditions make it impossible for you or your 
representative to travel to the hearing.
    (2) In determining whether good cause exists in circumstances other 
than those set out in paragraph (f)(1) of this section, the 
administrative law judge will consider your reason(s) for requesting 
the change, the facts supporting it, and the impact of the proposed 
change on the efficient administration of the hearing process. Factors 
affecting the impact of the change include, but are not limited to, the 
effect on the processing of other scheduled hearings, delays that might 
occur in rescheduling your hearing, and whether we previously granted 
you any changes in the time or place of your hearing. Examples of such 
other circumstances that you might give for requesting a change in the 
time or place of the hearing include, but are not limited to, the 
following:
    (i) You unsuccessfully attempted to obtain a representative and 
need additional time to secure representation;
    (ii) Your representative was appointed within 30 days of the 
scheduled hearing and needs additional time to prepare for the hearing;
    (iii) Your representative has a prior commitment to be in court or 
at another administrative hearing on the date scheduled for the 
hearing;
    (iv) A witness who will testify to facts material to your case 
would be unavailable to attend the scheduled hearing and the evidence 
cannot be otherwise obtained;
    (v) Transportation is not readily available for you to travel to 
the hearing; or
    (vi) You are unrepresented, and you are unable to respond to the 
notice of hearing because of any physical, mental, educational, or 
linguistic limitations (including any lack of facility with the English 
language) which you may have.
* * * * *

0
13. In Sec.  416.1438, revise paragraph (b) to read as follows:


Sec.  416.1438  Notice of a hearing before an administrative law judge.

* * * * *
    (b) Notice information. The notice of hearing will contain a 
statement of the specific issues to be decided and tell you that you 
may designate a person to represent you during the proceedings. The 
notice will also contain an explanation of the procedures for 
requesting a change in the time or place of your hearing, a reminder 
that if you fail to appear at your scheduled hearing without good cause 
the administrative law judge may dismiss your hearing request, and 
other information about the

[[Page 35935]]

scheduling and conduct of your hearing. You will also be told if your 
appearance or that of any other party or witness is scheduled to be 
made in person, by video teleconferencing, or by telephone. If we have 
scheduled you to appear at the hearing by video teleconferencing, the 
notice of hearing will tell you that the scheduled place for the 
hearing is a video teleconferencing site and explain what it means to 
appear at your hearing by video teleconferencing.
* * * * *
[FR Doc. 2014-14793 Filed 6-24-14; 8:45 am]
BILLING CODE 4191-02-P