Representing You At The Disability Hearing

After Southeast Disability Advocates files your Request for Hearing, the Social Security Administration will schedule a hearing to consider your case. This hearing is critical, because this is the first time a decision maker from the Social Security Administration will review your case. It is our opportunity to gain approval of your disability benefits application from the ALJ. Due to the current backlog of cases at the Offices of Disability, Adjudication and Review (the hearing office) there is a wait time of 9-12 months from the receipt of the Request for Hearing and the hearing date. Our in-house secure video hearing facilities allow the ALJ to schedule your hearing without waiting for a time slot in the remote video hearing site. When your case is "ready to schedule", your hearing will be scheduled in our offices at the soonest available date. There is no need to wait for the ALJ to schedule a time slot in the remote video site.

At Southeast Disability Advocates, we have represented people in thousands of disability hearings. We understand the process, what questions the administrative law judge will probably ask and how to overcome objections to your application.

To learn more about the disability hearing process and how we can help you, call 800-789-4345.

What Happens At A Disability Hearing?

A Social Security Disability hearing is a court proceeding, but it may not feel like the hearings you see on television. The administrative hearing is usually held in person, but depending on the claimant's place of residence, the claimant and other witnesses will testify by video conference. Though the participants are under oath, hearings tend to be informal though not casual. Hearings generally last anywhere from 45 minutes to an hour.

There will probably be five people in attendance: an administrative law judge (ALJ), a court reporter or hearing assistant, a vocational expert, our attorney or representative and you. The judge may ask a medical expert to testify in your case. We will have the opportunity to cross-examine all witnesses at your hearing.

Your hearing will probably proceed as follows:

  • The administrative law judge will swear you in.
  • The ALJ will ask you a few questions about your living arrangements, activities of daily living, work history and your medical conditions and limitations. Sometimes the ALJ will ask the representative to ask the preliminary questions and the judge will interject questions or ask follow-up questions when your representative has finished.
  • Your representative will have the opportunity to ask follow-up questions as appropriate.
  • The ALJ will then ask a series of hypothetical questions of the vocational expert. These questions will not necessarily relate to your ability to work. Rather, the questions will contain limitations the ALJ has determined you experience. The ALJ will typically ask multiple hypothetical questions, varying the intensity or degree of limitation in each question.
  • Your attorney or representative will cross-examine the vocational expert regarding his or her opinions.
  • Your responsibility will be to answer questions truthfully, respectfully and with sincerity.

The ALJ will probably not issue a ruling at the end of the hearing. You will probably receive written notice of the judge's decision a few weeks after the hearing.

We Have A Secure Video Conference Hearing Facility In Our Destin Office

To make it easier for our clients, Southeast Disability Advocates has built a video conferencing facility in our Destin office. For people who live locally or elsewhere in Northwest Florida, this provides many benefits:

  • Your case will not be delayed by scheduling backlogs at the remote video site. We are able to schedule hearings at any time the ALJ is prepared to go forward with your hearing, rather than waiting for the ALJ to have a hearing date at the remote video site.
  • You will be among friends. We're on your side and we'll do everything we can to make you feel comfortable.
  • You can relax and have time to adjust to your surroundings. This is important, because your attitude during the hearing can have a positive effect on the judge.
  • After the hearing, we can tell you how we think it went and what you can expect.

Free Consultation — Call Us Today

To learn more about Social Security Disability hearings and appeals, call Southeast Disability Advocates at 800-789-4345 or contact us online. A lawyer or representative can explain the process and answer your questions.