SSDI Hearing Process & What to Expect

According to the SSA, if an application for Social Security Disability Insurance or Supplemental Security Income is denied, an applicant has 60 days to file a reconsideration appeal. In case a reconsideration appeal is denied, an applicant has another 60 days to file an appeal requesting an in-person hearing before an Administrative Law Judge.

A Social Security Disability hearing is a chance for a claimant to present a good disability case with supporting evidence. You are more likely to receive benefits if you have a disability representative to show the case in front of a disability judge.

Disability hearings are not held in traditional courtrooms. It is more of an intimate setup in a conference-like room where you will be asked to sit across the table from the judge. Most disability benefit claimants find this setting helps tem relax and establish a dialog with their judge. Your hearing will be private, no public allowed, other than those involved in the claim such as a vocational expert.

The Administrative Law Judge has never reviewed your case before and will be interested in fairly hearing the entire case. After introductions, the judge reads a brief statement setting out the issues to be heard, and then your qualified representative is asked to present updated information such as medical records.

The judge will ask your qualified disability representative questions about your claim and allow the case to be presented. Do not be afraid if the judge asks you questions directly. You may be asked about your disability and how it affects you. Other questions the judge may ask is about your education, work history, ability to work now and daily activities. The judge will also ask expert witnesses selected from a panel of experts by the Social Security Administration to describe skill and exertion required for your line of work. The judge will allow your disability attorney to question the experts, which is another reason to have a representative with experience in handling Social Security cases.

The Administrative Law Judge will consider information presented and make a decision in your case, you will be notified in writing if you have been approved for Social Security disability benefits.

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