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It is common to want to know how the process works for a Social Security Disability hearing. You probably have questions about how long it will take and who will be there.
Here’s what you can expect at your Social Security Disability hearing:
How long will it take?
A Social Security Disability hearing is typically 30-45 minutes long but sometimes they can take over an hour.
Who will be there?
Depending on the case, an Administrative Law Judge (ALJ) will be present along with you (the claimant) and your attorney if you have one. There will also be a court reporter, a vocational expert, and occasionally a medical expert if the judge needs help understanding the nature of a specific medical condition. Sometimes, if the claimant cannot testify or if they are a minor, someone like a family member can testify instead.
What will happen at my hearing?
The purpose of your hearing is to present evidence to the ALJ so he or she can determine if you meet the criteria to be considered disabled under Social Security’s rules and regulations.
No one will argue that you are NOT disabled, so it isn’t like a court trial with a prosecution and a defense.
Typically, at the beginning of the hearing, the Administrative Law Judge will ask you to provide your name for the record and your attorney will give an overview of the case. You’ll have to swear or affirm that you will tell the truth and then you will be asked questions by the Administrative Law Judge or your attorney about relevant topics that will include:
- Your age, education and work history;
- Your physical and mental impairments;
- How your physical and mental conditions limit your ability to go about your daily life and engage in work activities.
The ALJ will then ask the vocational expert to provide jobs that are available in the national economy at different exertional levels based on a series of “hypotheticals.” Your attorney and the ALJ will also ask the vocational expert to provide insight on how certain physical or mental limitations impact an individual’s ability to engage in full-time employment.
Finally, there are usually closing remarks at the end of the hearing before the record is closed. The ALJ will issue a written decision 60-90 days after the hearing which will be mailed to you and your attorney.
And that’s pretty much it!
An experienced Social Security Disability Attorney can answer any additional questions you might have or explain any special circumstances that might pop up during your hearing as well.
Connor Kimmet and Hafenstein LLP
If you have questions about an upcoming Social Security Disability hearing, our expert attorneys can help you. We have a lawyer who will work for you and can answer your questions!