What to Expect at Your SSDI Hearing

Applying for Social Security Disability Insurance (SSDI) benefits can be a complex and lengthy process. Some individuals are denied multiple times and forced to appeal the denials before they are granted disability benefits. You may be required to appear before an Administrative Law Judge if your SSDI application is denied. Even though the hearing may be less formal than hearings in other courts, hiring a Texas disability hearing lawyer can help you avoid some of the pitfalls that could result in a denial of your SSDI benefits.

What is an Administrative Law Judge?

An Administrative Law Judge (ALJ) is appointed to hear appeals of SSDI denials. The job of the ALJ is to review the evidence presented in the case and any testimony offered at the hearing to render an unbiased decision whether you are entitled to receive SSDI disability benefits. The ALJ is a member of the Social Security Administration’s Office of Disability Adjudication and Review.

You have the right to retain an attorney to represent you during the hearing. For many individuals, hiring an attorney may give them a better chance of winning their disability appeal. It is a wise decision to consult with and consider retaining a Texas disability benefits attorney for your SSDI hearing.

What Can You Expect to Happen During Your SSDI Hearing?

The purpose of the SSDI hearing is to determine if you qualify under the SSA’s requirements for disability benefits. Before an SSDI hearing, your disability application has been reviewed by and denied by at least two SSA employees. Your initial application was denied, and you appealed the decision for reconsideration.  Under reconsideration your application was denied, so you requested a hearing by an ALJ.

During the hearing, you may be required to provide testimony regarding your disability application. Even though the hearing may be conducted in an informal setting, your testimony is provided under oath. If you retain a Texas disability benefits attorney, your attorney will prepare you for the hearing. Your attorney may discuss some of the potential questions that the judge may ask so that you are not as nervous while testifying.

In addition to your testimony, the ALJ may request testimony from a medical witness attending the hearing on your behalf, an independent medical professional, and a vocational witness. The witnesses are providing testimony regarding your disability and your employability. Depending on your case, your attorney may also have other witnesses testify about your limitations and abilities. A court reporter will also be present to record the hearing.

What Should I Wear for My SSDI Hearing?

If you do not normally wear a suit or dress clothes, you do not need to purchase special clothing for the SSDI hearing. You are not required by the court to “dress up” for a hearing before an Administrative Law Judge. You may wear clothing that is comfortable. However, you do want to wear clothing that is suitable for appearing in a courtroom. Therefore, flip-flops, shorts, tank tops, and baseball hats are usually too “comfortable” for a court hearing. Your attorney can provide additional guidance on what to wear to the hearing.

A Texas Disability Benefits Attorney Can Be A Great Asset During an SSDI Hearing

A Texas disability benefits attorney provides guidance, support, and legal counsel before and during an SSDI hearing. Schedule a consult with one of our experienced SSDI lawyers today. We can give you step-by-step instructions, such as when to arrive at court, what you can bring into the court, and how to address the court, as well as gather and submit the documents and information necessary to support your claim for SSDI disability benefits.