(a) If, following a hearing at which a decision was not pronounced, the administrative hearing officer (AHO) determines that the evidence presented in the hearing was so inadequate that a decision cannot be made, the hearing is reopened and further information requested.
- (1) When it is necessary to reopen a hearing, the AHO sends the client, authorized representative, and the local office a letter which clearly states:
- (A) what evidence is to be submitted;
- (B) who will submit the evidence;
- (C) a deadline for submission;
- (D) the manner in which the evidence is submitted; and
- (E) the deadline for the opposing party to submit comments regarding the evidence or to request that the hearing be reconvened.
- (2) The client is expected to cooperate in any way necessary to obtain the desired information and failure to do so without good cause may result in the dismissal of the hearing request.
(b) If the hearing is reopened for the purpose of obtaining additional medical information, the needed examination is arranged in the usual manner.
- (1) If the examination is authorized by a local office, that office routes the original of the completed report to the Appeals Unit and the client or authorized representative.
- (2) If the examination is authorized at the State Office, all copies of the completed report are forwarded to the Appeals Unit by the division or unit which authorized the examination. The Appeals Unit sends a copy of the completed report to the local office in which the appeal was requested and to the client.
(c) The AHO may make a referral to another unit or division, or request the local office to obtain the needed information.
(d) Following receipt of additional information, the AHO informs the client, authorized representative, and local office in writing of:
- (1) the additional evidence obtained;
- (2) the source of the additional evidence;
- (3) how the evidence relates to the issues; and
- (4) either party may ask that the hearing be reconvened, but the AHO is not required to grant the request.