20 CFR 320.25 - Hearing of appeal.
(a) Manner of conducting hearing. The hearing shall be informal, fair, and impartial, and shall be conducted in such manner as to ascertain the substantial rights of the parties. The hearing shall not be open to the public.
(b) Evidence presented in support of appeal.
(1) Any party, or his or her representative, shall be afforded full opportunity to present evidence upon any controversial question of fact, orally or in writing or by means of exhibits; to examine and cross-examine witnesses; and to present argument in support of the appeal.
(2) The formal rules of evidence shall not apply; however, the hearings officer may exclude evidence which he or she finds is irrelevant or repetitious. Any evidence excluded by the hearings officer shall be described and that description made part of the record.
(3) If, in the judgment of the hearings officer, evidence not offered is available and is relevant and material to the merits of the claim, the hearings officer may obtain such evidence upon his or her own initiative. If new evidence is obtained after an oral hearing, other than evidence submitted by a party or his representative, the hearings officer shall provide the parties or their representatives with a copy of such evidence. In such event, any party shall have 30 days to submit rebuttal evidence or argument or to request a supplemental hearing to confront and challenge such new evidence. Any party may move for an extension of time to submit rebuttal evidence or argument and the hearings officer may grant the motion upon a showing of good cause.
(c) Where no oral hearing required. Where the hearings officer finds that no factual issues are presented by an appeal, and the only issues raised by the parties are issues concerning the application or interpretation of law, the parties or their representatives shall be afforded full opportunity to submit written argument in support of their position but no oral hearing shall be held.
(d) Hearing by telephone or video teleconferencing. As stated in § 320.22(a), at the discretion of the hearings officer, any hearing required under this part may be conducted in person, by telephone conference call, or by video teleconferencing. The hearings officer may determine the hearing should be conducted by telephone conference call or video teleconferencing if use of these methods would be more efficient than conducting an in person hearing and the hearings officer does not determine that there is a circumstance in the particular case preventing the use of these methodologies to conduct the hearing.