Should I Request an ALJ Hearing with a Blood Disorder?

If you have applied for social security disability benefit because you have a blood disorder and this has been denied, then you could have a higher chance of your benefit being approved if you attend an Administrative Law Judge (ALJ) hearing.

This hearing is part of the appeal’s process after the SSA has denied a benefit claim and a rejection of a reconsideration. The ALJ is a judge appointed to review your medical condition at a private hearing. The judge throughout the hearing will ask you some questions and listen to what you and your attorney have to say and any medical experts on your blood disorder who are required to attend.

Typically, with the average approval rate of all first applications for SSD benefits being about 34%, 46% of applicants who progress to an ALJ hearing have their benefit application approved. This means requesting an ALJ is the best route to take if your first application has been denied.

What to Expect From an ALJ Hearing

An ALJ hearing is not quite the same as going to court as it takes place in a small conference room and in some cases through video conferencing. The hearing is attended by yourself, your attorney the ALJ, an assistant and a couple of experts who have knowledge about blood disorders. The hearing goes through the following stages:

  • The ALJ hearing begins with questions asked by the judge about the effects of your blood disorder and how your life is impacted.
  • The judge focuses on your ability to earn an income. Your attorney could speak on our behalf if you prefer.
  • The medical experts present at the hearing may ask you about your blood disorder and how it impacts in terms of employment.
  • When the ALJ is satisfied that enough information has been provided, the hearing will come to an end.
  • It may take up to30 days before you are informed of the decision.

Should I Request an ALJ Hearing with a Blood Disorder?

Tips for Success at an ALJ Hearing With a Blood Disorder

  • 1. Always have a lawyer to represent you at the ALJ hearing, as the chances of success are far higher.
  • 2. Don’t arrive late for the hearing; otherwise, the ALJ may cancel it.
  • 3. Get some practice with answering possible questions about your blood disorder with a relative, friend or your attorney.
  • 4. At the hearing all the answers you give to questions must be honest and provide a full description of the impact on your life from having a blood disorder.
  • 5. Be alert to the fact that you may be asked about how your disability affects your day to day life and any limitations it imposes on it.
  • 6. Be alert to the fact that you will probably be asked about any unexplained gaps in your medical history or other information which may appear to be absent.
  • 7. Be prepared to answer questions about the symptoms of your blood disorder and how it affects your ability to work.

Having an Attorney on Your Side Helps

Even though your benefit application was denied in the first place and an attempt at getting the decision reconsidered was also denied, don’t give up hope and make sure you have help on your side from an attorney who knows what to expect.

Even though two thirds of all SSD benefit applications are rejected to begin with, persistence and help from an experienced disability attorney could mean all the difference when it comes to the ALJ hearing.

Additional Resources