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What can I expect at my disability hearing?

If your Social Security Disability claim has been denied and you subsequently appealed the decision, you may have a disability hearing with an Administrative Law Judge for the agency to reconsider your case. Your hearing begins when you are sworn under oath by a court reporter. Also present at the hearing will be the judge, a court reporter, you and any representation you have, as well as experts and witnesses, such as medical professionals and vocational experts. The judge will explain why your claim was denied and may ask questions to you, your representatives and experts on hand regarding your disability. The judge will analyze your medical condition and may consult with a physician at this time.

The judge may also inquire with the vocational expert about workers with similar disabilities to determine whether you are truly disabled. If you have not had the opportunity to state your Social Security Disability case, you may ask to speak at the hearing, or have your representation speak on your behalf, and you may submit your own evidence to the judge at this time. It is important to understand that you are under oath and the entire hearing is recorded.

Due to the sheer volume of cases the Social Security Administration has to process, your hearing will likely be short, lasting from about 15 minutes up to an hour. Following the hearing, the judge will issue you a written document with a decision.

If you claim is again dismissed, there is another appeals option. You may still ask to have your case reviewed by the Social Security Administration Appeals Council.

Source: findlaw.com, "What Happens at a Disability Hearing?" Accessed Aug. 18, 2015

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