Social Security Disability Administrative Hearing FAQs

Social Security Disability Attorneys Explain
What to Expect at an Administrative Judge Hearing

If your initial application for Social Security Disability benefits is denied, the next step is to file a request for reconsideration. If that fails, you may take your case to the next level of appeal – which is a Hearing before an “Administrative Judge”.

The Administrative Judge Hearing is the last administrative stage in a Social Security Disability appeal. It can take a year, or possibly more, to be scheduled for your hearing after you hearing request it. Because the Administrative Judge hearing is the “last chance” – and because of the long delays – it is important to discuss this step of the proceeding with an experienced Social Security Disability lawyer. If you have already been denied twice, it is unlikely that you will be approved on the third try, unless you hire a skilled SSDI lawyer who can figure out “what’s missing” or what you are doing wrong in your case.

The lawyers at Cantrell Green in Long Beach California have been successfully representing injured workers in Social Security Disability cases for more than 4 decades. In this article we explain how the Social Security Disability Administrative Judge Hearing works – and what to expect. However, there is no substitute for the advice and representation of an SSDI lawyer.

Frequently Asked Questions About Social Security Disability Hearings:

Who Will Be at the Social Security Disability Administrative Hearing?

You and your lawyer, the judge and a hearing assistant will typically be present. The hearing assistant does not participate, other than to record the hearing. In sometimes your (or the SSA’s) medical and/or vocational experts will also be in attendance – to give an opinion on the case.

Unlike other types of cases, there is no “prosecutor” or lawyer for the Social Security Administration who will present challenging evidence or cross-examine you.

How Long Does a Social Security Disability Administrative Hearing Take?

The actual SSDI Administrative Judge Hearing usually takes only about an hour. However, sometimes you may spend a fair amount of additional time waiting for your case to be called.

What Happens in a Social Security Disability Administrative Judge Hearing?

This type of hearing is considered “informal” – but it can still be a little intimidating. Having your lawyer with you can help ease your anxiety – knowing that he or she will make certain that everything is handled properly.

Since this is an “informal” hearing, the order of events can vary slightly. The Administrative Judges will typically start by explaining the issues in your case. Often the judge will ask you questions first, and then allow your attorney to ask you questions to help you prove your case. Other judges may allow your lawyer to ask the questions first.

You – and any witnesses or experts – will be answering the questions “under oath”. And, the hearing will be recorded.

In addition to discussing your disability, the Judge will want to cover your age, your educational background including vocational training, and your work history. The disability can be mental or physical. The decision will rarely be given at the hearing itself.

Your lawyer (or you if you have no attorney) may question any of your witnesses and/or the Judges witnesses, and submit evidence.

Will I Get a Decision on my Social Security Disability at the Administrative Hearing?

Typically a decision will NOT be rendered by the Judge at the hearing. Instead, the Administrative Law Judge will issue a written decision after studying all the evidence. A copy of the approval or dismissal will be sent to you and your lawyer.

If the decision is favorable, it triggers the beginning of the payment process – but unfortunately, it can still be several more months before you actually receive any money.

Long Beach Social Security Disability Attorneys: 562-622-4800