I-1-0-6.Preparing a HALLEX Transmittal

Last Update: 3/3/11 (Transmittal I-1-61)

A. General Guidelines

The electronic process for producing and publishing Hearings, Appeals and Litigation Law (HALLEX) manual transmittals uses:

  • PolicyNet and the Policy Repository to publish HALLEX; and

  • A customized Microsoft Word template to format HALLEX transmittals.

The basic principles of clear writing and effective communication apply to drafting HALLEX issuances, and may be found in the guidelines in the Quality Initiative for Commissioner's Correspondence Writing Center at http://quicc.ssahost.ba.ssa.gov/. Also, note the following:

  1. When using acronyms, explain the term and show the acronym in parentheses the first time it appears in a section. The acronym may then be used throughout the section. Do not show the acronym if the term is used only once in the section.

    Example:

    Spell out the term “Social Security Administration” the first time it appears in a section, followed by the acronym in parentheses:

    Social Security Administration (SSA).

    Use “SSA” subsequently throughout that section.

  2. Add hyperlinks to PolicyNet for all cross-references. This enables proper coding in PolicyNet and allows the author to check the links to ensure that they work properly.

    NOTE 1:

    Files downloaded from the Policy Repository (which are used to update existing HALLEX instructions) contain hyperlinks for the references that already exist in the section or chapter. Authors simply need to confirm that the existing hyperlink works and add hyperlinks for any additional references they want in the issuance.

    NOTE 2:

    To format a hyperlink, use the format for citing to a specific HALLEX reference in HALLEX I-1-0-4 B.

B. The Transmittal Sheet (TS)

Every HALLEX issuance must include a numbered transmittal sheet (TS). The TS briefly summarizes the background, including the pertinent actions or events that led to the issuance of the instructions. In addition, if the issuance adds a subject to HALLEX, briefly explain the subject. If the issuance revises one or more procedures, briefly explain the changes and specify where they are in the text.

EXCEPTIONS:

  • Generally, issuances in Volume I, Division 5 (Temporary Instructions (TI)) do not require a TS because the background and explanation of the need for the instruction are included in the body of the TI. However, when it is necessary to revise or replace only a portion of an existing TI, a TS will usually accompany the revision to explain the changes to the previously issued material.

  • HALLEX Action Items do not require a TS. (See I-1-0-7 E.)

C. Sample Format of a Transmittal Sheet

SOCIAL SECURITY ADMINISTRATION

Office of Disability Adjudication and Review

HALLEX

Volume I

Transmittal No. I-X-XX

_________________________________________________________________________

Chapter: I-X-X

Subject:

_________________________________________________________________________

Background

Briefly summarize the pertinent actions or events that led to the issuance.

Explanation of Content and Changes

If the issuance adds a subject to HALLEX, briefly summarize the subject. If the issuance revises one or more procedures, explain the changes and specify where they are in the text.

Date:

D. The HALLEX Template

The HALLEX Word template is a series of Word customizations intended to make editing and authoring HALLEX documents simpler for the end user, while maintaining formatting integrity throughout the HALLEX system.

The following custom styles for use in HALLEX are available through a custom toolbar via the Tools menu in Word:

  • Chapter Title - This style is used only for the actual Chapter title line of a HALLEX document.

    Sample: I-1-0 Introduction to HALLEX

  • Section 1 - Most documents are split into sections. The Section 1 style is the topmost section, and contains all subsections within it.

Sample: I-1-0-6 Preparing a HALLEX Transmittal

  • Section 2 - This style is used at the subsection level, contained within a section.

    Sample: F. Notes, Examples and Exhibits

  • Section 3 - This style is for a sub-subsection, contained within a subsection. Most HALLEX documents only go three levels deep.

Sample: 2. Examples

  • Sections 4 and 5 - These sections are for lower level subsections and are rarely used.

    Sample: a. Section 4 Level

    i. Section 5 Level

  • Paragraph - This is the default style. The template includes this as a selection because the author must switch back to “Paragraph” after creating or modifying another element type.

  • Note - This style partially mimics the HALLEX “NOTE” and “EXCEPTION” formatting. Although it helps with placement, the author must still type the word (e.g., NOTE) in bolded upper case letters followed by a colon.

  • Blockquote - This style increases text indenting from both margins. It is used for lengthy quoted material.

  • Revision - This style is used when marking the last revision of a particular chapter or section.

  • Address - This style properly indents an address from the main body of text. After each line of the address, use a carriage return (type shift-enter) instead of the Enter key to go to the next line. This will make the entire address into a single paragraph.

NOTE:

Instructions for using the HALLEX template are provided in HALLEX I-1-0-10 Exhibit.

E. The Body of the Transmittal

Authors must employ the following guidelines in preparing a HALLEX transmittal.

  1. Use a title to identify the subject of a section or subsection.

  2. Type titles with the first letter of words in upper case letters. Do not capitalize:

    • Articles – a and an;

    • Prepositions – at, by, for, in, of, on, to, and up;

    • Conjunctions – and, if, or, and nor.

  3. If there is only one paragraph in a section or subsection, do not letter or number the paragraph; that is, if there is a subsection A, there must be a subsection B. If there is a subsection 1, there must be a subsection 2.

  4. If subsection 1 has a title, the remaining subsections (2, 3, etc.) must also have titles. This rule also applies to subsections identified by lower-case letters and to bulleted items.

  5. To emphasize an instruction, use bolding. Keep in mind that excessive bolding no longer serves to provide emphasis.

F. Notes, Examples, and Exhibits

1. Notes

Select “Note” from the task pane. (See I-1-0-10.) Type the word “NOTE” in bold, upper case letters, followed by a colon.

NOTE:

Use the same format for similar titles, such as “caution,” or “exception.”

2. Examples

There is no set format for “examples” because the material may mandate a specific format. However, when possible, type “Example” followed by a colon. After the colon, there are two returns.

Example:

xxxxxxxx xxxx xxxxxxx

3. Exhibits

There is no set format for exhibits because exhibits display information to meet a specific user's need. Use the section, subsection and paragraph structure of HALLEX if the information in the exhibit lends itself to that format.