What to Expect at a Disability Hearing?

What to Expect at a Disability Hearing?

Social Security Disability Hearing
Appearing at a disability hearing can be stressful. Let SSDA USA help you prepare.

You applied for Social Security disability benefits and were denied. You then applied for an appeal for reconsideration and they accepted your request. Now you have to go before an Administrative Law Judge for a hearing. During this hearing, a judge will determine if you are entitled to Social Security benefits. This process can be quite stressful, especially if you don’t know what to expect. Our Social Security Disability representative put together an overview of what to expect to help prepare your for a hearing.

What to Expect From a Social Security Disability Hearing

First off, a Social Security disability hearing is nothing like a typical court hearing. There will be an administrative law judge present, but it doesn’t even take place in a court. Instead, you can expect it to take place in something like a conference room.

Only the judge, claimant, attorneys and those participating in the case (such as witnesses) attend.  The hearing is not open to the public. This means that if you have any friends or family members accompany you to the hearing, they will need to wait outside of the room the hearing is taking place in.

Nobody is trying to find you “guilty” of not qualifying for Social Security benefits, after all. It’s simply a process to find out as much as possible about your specific case so that an accurate ruling can be made in terms of your eligibility. The following are some of the things that you can expect to take place during your Social Security disability hearing:

Swear in

You will be sworn in along with any witnesses and vocational experts that plan to testify on your behalf.

The judge will ask questions

After introducing your specific case, the judge will begin asking you questions. It’s important that you answer all of the questions as specifically and as truthfully as possible. If you have a Social Security attorney, then they will be able to help prep you prior to your hearing. The judge may also ask questions regarding your case to the witnesses or vocational experts that are there. Vocational experts will often be asked hypothetical questions concerning the type of work someone with your disability can be expected to perform.

You’ll be expected to explain certain facts

If there are any gaps in your medical history, you will be asked about them. You’ll need to answer honestly about why you didn’t seek treatment. For example, maybe you were without insurance at the time. If you’re not honest and it’s obvious, you’ll lose credibility with the judge. They may ask you to explain bad facts. Medical records sometimes contain bad facts that can hurt your case if you don’t explain them properly.

Your attorney speaks

After answering the judge’s questions, then your attorney will make your case. Your attorney can speak on your behalf, or they can ask additional questions to you or any of the witnesses or experts in the room to help further strengthen your case.

Final word 

At the end, the judge will give you a few minutes to say anything else that you want to say.

The Social Security disability hearing should take no longer than an hour, and in some cases can last as little as 15 minutes. However, you won’t know about the decision until three to four weeks following the hearing. For more advice concerning your Social Security benefits hearing, call 602-952-3200 for a free consultation. You can also get in touch with us via our contact form and by using our LiveChat feature.

This is attorney advertising. SSDA, LLC is a group of attorneys that pursues claims for Social Security Disability benefits on behalf of its clients against the Social Security Administration. SSDA, LLC is in no way a part of the Social Security Administration. Further, the information on this blog is for general information purposes only. Nothing herein should be taken as legal advice. This information is not intended to create, and receipt or viewing does not constitute, a representative-client relationship.

Comments are closed.