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We receive 75-day advance notice for administrative law judge hearings in Maine and New Hampshire. The 75-day notice is a remnant of the DSI (Disability Service Improvement) experiment that the SSA conducted in the Boston region. So the New England states enjoy 75-day notice when a hearing is scheduled, as opposed to the 20-day advance notice given in the rest of the country. Let me tell you, it is nice.

75-day notice is, in my opinion, the greatest improvement ever made to the disability hearing process. I think everyone involved would agree. The 75-day notice is paired with a "5-day rule," which states that all evidence to be considered by the ALJ needs to be submitted 5 days ahead of the hearing. See 20 CFR 405.331(a). 

Our experience with the 75-day notice and 5-day rule has been excellent. Cases are much better prepared for hearing. There is no last minute scramble to update the medical record when a claim is scheduled. There is time to write a hearing brief after all the evidence has been submitted.

I remember the old days (it's been 5 years) when we just got 20 days notice. It was not unusual to go to the hearing with a packet of new medical records, often including recent medical source statements for the judge to review. Good luck conducting a meaningful hearing when the most important evidence for the claim was just handed to you! But if the evidence was submitted before the judge writes a decision, it must be considered. This is chaos for an orderly decision process.

Short of a regulation change, 75-day notice should be at least an aspirational goal of every hearing office. Here in New England it is still required. Elsewhere however, hearing office would do well to stretch out their advance notice to 75 days.