If the Social Security Administration (SSA) has denied your claim for disability benefits, you have the right to appeal the federal government agency’s decision. The first step in the four-step appeal process is called reconsideration, which is the resubmission of the initial disability claim application.
A different team of medical examiners from the SSA reviews your appeal for reconsideration and if your appeal is also denied by the SSA, you have the right to file an appeal for a disability hearing in front of an Administrative Law Judge (ALJ).
One of the first items to prepare for a disability trial involves knowing the location of the nearest hearing office near your home.
The Office of Hearing Operations (OHO) operates in 10 regional offices located in the following American cities:
- Kansas City
- New York
- San Francisco
How Do I Request a Hearing?
You have three ways to request a disability trial in front of an ALJ. To apply online, you must meet four criteria. The SSA requires you to have applied for disability benefits and received a Notice of Decision from the federal government agency. You also have to demonstrate you live in the United States, as well as send in a formal statement that disagrees with the original disability decision.
SSA requirements include the submission of a disability appeal application and disability report. A disability report contains any new information concerning your health. You also can file a request for a disability hearing by mail or in person.
The SSA has set a deadline of 60 days to file a request for an appeal in front of an ALJ, with the clock starting to tick on the day when you received your letter of denial for reconsideration. Working with a disability attorney can help you meet the deadline to avoid losing out on the financial assistance that you deserve.
What Happens at a Disability Hearing?
A disability trial in front of an ALJ determines whether your medical condition meets the criteria established by the SSA Blue Book to define your medical condition as a disability. Although most disability hearings unfold in the same manner, you might face circumstances that are unique to your particular case.
Expect the ALJ to ask you questions concerning the seriousness of your medical condition, with a focus on confirming the medical evidence submitted by your Social Security disability attorney. The ALJ hearing your case wants to verify how your symptoms have made it impossible to work any type of job.
After responding to the ALJ’s questions, your lawyer speaks on your behalf by describing why you should receive financial assistance to cope with your medical condition. Both the ALJ and your disability attorney can call expert witnesses to testify about the seriousness of your symptoms.
Get Legal Support Before Contacting a Disability Hearing Office
Working with a Social Security disability lawyer can help you receive approval for financial assistance. If you did not have an attorney help you file an original claim for disability benefits, hiring one during the appeal process can provide you with the legal support you need to describe your disability in front of an Administrative Law Judge.
Fill out a free case evaluation today to improve your chances of getting approved for financial assistance during an ALJ disability hearing.