Disability hearings are often the most stressful and exhausting part of the Social Security Disability application and appeals process. Having an experienced Social Security Disability at your side helping you through the hearing can make the process much easier for you. If you have been denied Social Security Disability benefits and are unable to work due to an injury or illness, call the experienced Tustin Social Security Disability attorneys at Howard Law and let us represent you at your disability hearing to help you get the benefits you deserve.
If you have been denied Social Security Disability benefits at either the initial application step or after a reconsideration decision, you may request an Administrative Law Judge hearing. Due to the high volume of applicants, the wait for a hearing is quite long. Although no exact length of time can be determined, hearings generally take somewhere between 10-18 months to be scheduled. You have the option to schedule a video teleconference which, according to the Social Security Administration, can often be scheduled faster than an in-person hearing. Whether you decide to schedule an in-person or video teleconference hearing you will be notified no later than 20 days before your hearing with the date, time, and place of the hearing.
If you schedule an in-person hearing, the Administrative Law Judge will usually hold the hearing within 75 miles of your home. However, your hearing may be farther away so more hearings can be held in one location. If travel arrangements will present a problem for you, tell the Social Security office when you request a hearing or as soon as possible after that. If you want to appear at a hearing but are unable to travel due to your health, submit a doctor's report with your request for hearing, explaining why you cannot travel. However, if you schedule the video teleconference hearing, the video hearing location may be closer to your home making travel arrangements easier for you and for your witnesses.
Before your hearing, you will likely be asked to provide more evidence and to clarify information about your claim. You will be able to look at the information already in your file and provide new information. While not required, it is in your best interest to attend the hearing, whether it be an in person or video conference. At the hearing, you and your attorney will have the opportunity to explain your case.
At the hearing, the administrative law judge will question you and any witnesses you bring. You will likely be asked questions regarding your work history, your injury or illness and symptoms you suffer from, and treatment you are receiving. There will probably be other witnesses, such as medical or vocational experts, who will be asked questions regarding your medical records. You or your attorney will have the opportunity to ask questions of these witnesses.
After the hearing, the judge will make a decision based on all the information in your case, including any new information you give. You will receive a letter in the mail with the Administrative Law Judge's decision. The hearing process can be exhausting and complicated. Contact the disability benefit attorneys at Howard Law PC to learn how we can help you get the benefits you deserve.