How an Administrative Law Judge Could Affect Your SSDI Claim

Social Security Disability Lawyers

Administrative law judges work in various positions in the federal government and deliver rulings on many different areas of statutory law. The administrative law judges who work for the Social Security Administration are the ones responsible for rendering decisions on Social Security Disability Claims during hearings. As you can imagine, an administrative law judge’s decision could make or break your case and affect your ability to collect the benefits you need.

If your Social Security Disability Insurance (SSDI) claim is denied, you may believe that there is little you can do to reverse this decision. However, if you believe that your disability claim was unfairly denied, you can appeal this decision by requesting a hearing before an administrative law judges. The administrative law judge will review your claim, including all the medical evidence you’ve submitted, and evaluate your disability. This hearing offers you the best chance of winning disability benefits.

How Does the Appeal Hearing Work?

Before the hearing, the administrative law judge will read your exhibit file. Your file contains all of your medical records, work history, and the reason why you were initially denied for benefits. Social Security hearings are not open to the public, so only you, your representative, the Administrative Law Judge, and the hearing assistant will be present. If there are any expert witnesses requested to give their testimony, then they will also be allowed to attend.

During the hearing, the judge will question you about your disability. The judge isn’t trying to disprove your disability, they’re merely trying to gather information about your medical condition, how this has affected your employment, and your past work history. The judge will use this information to determine if you are entitled to disability benefits or not. It is important to answer the administrative law judge’s questions honestly and thoroughly. Try to include examples of how your disability has affected your life and how it has impacted your ability to work or perform everyday activities.

Following your testimony, the judge will give your attorney the chance to speak on your behalf. If there are any expert witnesses to be called, the judge will hear their testimony at this time as well. Medical experts and vocational experts are often used by both sides to testify regarding your ability to sustain gainful employment.

Once the hearing is concluded, you will usually need to wait 3-4 weeks before learning whether you’ve won your appeal or been denied. In some rarer situations, the judge will issue a bench decision on the day of your hearing. It is important to know, however, that if you lose your appeal and the administrative law judge does not approve your disability benefits, you have a slim chance of being approved for benefits at a later stage. As such, it is important to understand the importance of the administrative law judge in your case and prepare thoroughly for your disability hearing.

Contact our West Palm Beach Social Security Disability Lawyers Today

At Fetterman & Associates, we know that collecting your disability benefits is a crucial component in providing for your family. Disability benefits, such as SSDI, can be an important part of moving forward into the future and being able to pay for medical care, medications, and long-term care. In order to collect these benefits, however, you need an experienced West Palm Beach social security disability lawyer at Fetterman & Associates on your side. Contact the law team today at 561-845-2510 for a free initial consultation and review of your case. We can help you after a serious disability or work injury and protect you every step of the way.

Additional Reading

Common Myths and Misconceptions Regarding Social Security Disability