Understanding Social Security Administrative Hearings
Applying for Social Security Disability benefits — whether SSDI ( Social Security Disability Insurance) or SSI ( Supplemental Security Income) — can be intimidating. If your initial application was denied, you likely feel discouraged about how to proceed.
Fortunately, you have not reached the end of the road. Several levels of appeal are still available to turn your case around. A very important step is a hearing before an administrative law judge.
What Happens At The Hearing?
Following the initial and reconsideration denials, the hearing before an administrative law judge is sometimes your best chance to present a winning case. The judge will take a fresh look at your situation. Medical experts and vocational experts will likely testify about your medical condition and work abilities.
According to statistics from the Social Security Administration, some administrative law judges grant more benefits than denials at this stage — likely because the person seeking benefits establishes a better-documented case. Providing detailed documentation and medical records can significantly increase your chances of success. However, there are many other judges who have a reputation for not approving claims. You simply cannot properly represent yourself successfully before these judges.
Strict deadlines apply for requesting an administrative hearing. Don’t risk missing out on your opportunity to win an approval.
The Importance Of Preparation
Much of the work behind a successful SSD or SSI claim happens behind the scenes, before the hearing takes place. Gathering the necessary documentation, enlisting the help of medical experts and taking other concrete steps are essential for preparing a winning case.
Why Hire An Attorney?
Statistics show that SSD and SSI applicants have a much better chance of obtaining a favorable outcome at the administrative hearing when they have a disability attorney.* You shouldn’t have to face the complexities of the Social Security process on your own.
Don’t gamble with your future. Instead, call the proven disability advocates at Burgess & Christensen. Our lawyers have over 30 years of experience handling Social Security administrative hearings. We have helped thousands of clients get the benefits they so desperately need.
*Source: November 16, 2001 Congressional Record, Testimony of Honorable Robert T. Matsui of California, regarding the Attorney Fee Payment System Improvement Act 2001.