Should I Request An ALJ Hearing For My Disability?

If you are denied disability benefits on your initial application there is no reason to panic. In fact, about 65% of applicants are denied at first. The next step that you can take is have your case heard at an ALJ hearing. This is an opportunity to present your case in front of an administrative law judge (ALJ).

Why You Should Consider an ALJ Hearing

It is important that you do not give up on your application after an initial denial. An ALJ hearing allows you to talk to the judge in person and demonstrate how your condition limits your ability to complete your job. In addition the SSA will send a letter explaining why you were denied initially. You can use the extra time and guidance to gather and add information specific to the reason that you were denied.

Approval Rates of An ALJ Hearing

The chances of receiving a favorable outcome increase when your case is heard in front of an ALJ. Initial applications receive a favorable outcome at around 35% of the time. At the hearing stage, applicants receive a favorable outcome just under 50% of the time.

However, this does not mean that your chances will automatically go up if you request an ALJ hearing. There are a few things that you can do in between your denial and the hearing to help improve your odds. One of the most important factors in receiving a favorable outcome is having an attorney on your side. Applicants with attorneys receive favorable outcomes at a higher rate than those without an attorney. Here are some steps that you can take to strengthen your case:

  • Review your denial letter to determine why you were denied.
  • Work with a doctor to fill out an RFC.
  • Gather additional evidence to prove the severity of your condition.

ALJ Hearing By Condition

Learn more about how to approach the ALJ Hearing with specific conditions here: