Common Questions About SSDI Hearings, Answered
Many of our clients have questions about the disability hearing. It is the one chance a claimant has to make his or her case face to face with an administrative law judge, someone who has the authority to approve or reject a claim.
But many people are unaware of what exactly happens at a disability hearing. Because part of the job of your lawyer is to provide you with information about the legal process and the law, below we have provided a brief outline of what occurs at a disability hearing. As always, we welcome questions directly from our clients. With Thomas & Thomas Attorneys At Law, you will work directly with an experienced lawyer and have regular communication about what to expect moving forward. You can reach us by calling our Easton, Pennsylvania, office at 800-248-3217. Answers to common questions about the hearing are below.
Where Do I Go For The Hearing?
You do not have to go to a state or federal court for your disability hearing. Social Security hearings are held in special hearing rooms, and they are completely private.The location will depend on where you live. If your disability prevents you from leaving your home, it may be possible to have the hearing over video conference.
While the hearing is not publicly held in a courthouse, it is a serious proceeding and the administrative law judge expects to be treated with the same respect due to a state or federal judge.
How Long Will It Take?
Not long. Many hearings take about 20 minutes, although they can last up to an hour or more depending on the circumstances. You can expect that the administrative law judge (ALJ) will have questions, perhaps many questions. Each ALJ generally has a certain procedure, but has latitude in how he or she runs the hearing process. At the hearing, you will have the chance to present your evidence and have other witnesses speak about your disability, if that is appropriate for your case. If you hire us to represent you, we will help you determine whether having witnesses will be helpful to your case. The ALJ may also ask questions regarding your disability and/or work history. Most hearings will include the testimony of a vocational expert. We will discuss the role of the vocational expert with you before your hearing.
How Do I Answer Questions? How Do I Act?
Answer questions honestly and act as you normally do. Your case will be determined based on the evidence provided to the judge. Your documentation, medical evidence and expert testimony will be a large factor in your case. You do not need to be in physical pain at the hearing for the judge to approve your claim.
What Does My Lawyer Do At The Hearing?
Your lawyer will present evidence and persuasively make your case before the ALJ. At Thomas & Thomas Attorneys At Law, we have been arguing cases before Social Security administrative law judges since 1987. We know that what actually happens at a hearing, and will prepare you for the hearing, with the goal of obtaining the best possible result for you.