What Happens at the Social Security Disability Hearing?


Instead of being nervous about a typical Social Security disability claim hearing, you can relax. A claim hearing is a relatively short procedure, lasting anywhere from fifteen minutes to an hour, and is less formal than a court hearing. Normal dress is recommended, and the hearing site may actually be at a hotel or bank.

In many regards, disability claims hearings involve an administrative law judge (ALJ), and are similar to Disability Determination Services (DDS) hearings. In fact, the only visible difference between a DDS hearing and this one would be the presence of the ALJ, as opposed to a DDS hearing officer, the presence of an attorney or representative, and perhaps the presence of a medical or vocational expert.

On the day of the hearing, the claimant (you) should show up on time. The schedules of everyone involved in Social Security disability hearings are quite complicated, and ALJs may not hear a disability law case if the claimant arrives too late. In some Social Security law cases, a claimant arriving more than ten minutes late could be enough for an ALJ to refuse to hear the case.

When testifying, tell the truth and be specific with your claims. If your claim involves suffering with pain, be very descriptive. Your attitude while delivering testimony is important.  Remember, the ALJ sees claimants every day who want benefits.  The attitude of the claimant should reflect a desire, but inability, to work.

In most cases involving disability laws, the ALJ does not issue a decision at the hearing, but you will receive a written decision in four to six weeks, sometimes longer.

Getting Legal Help

If you or a loved one needs to pursue a disability claim or wishes to discuss claim eligibility, give Disability Professionals a call at 855-201-9569 or email DisabilityProfessionals to set up your appointment today.



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