What to Expect in a SSD Appeal Hearing
A Social Security Disability appeal hearing is nothing to be nervous about. Since over 50% of Social Security Disability awards happen during the appeals process, the appeal hearing is actually something you can approach with confidence. This is especially true when you are being represented by the seasoned attorneys of Southeast Disability Advocates.
When will my Social Security Disability appeal hearing take place?
The wait time between the request for a hearing and the hearing itself has been increasing each year due to the growing number of requests. In 2016 and 2017, the average processing time across the nation for SSD hearings was 545 days or more. The good news is that an initiative was released in 2016 to decrease these wait times and expedite cases. That initiative is called Compassionate And Responsive Service (CARES). When hiring Southeast Disability Advocates, or any attorney, to represent you, it is important to involve them at the earliest possible point in the process to avoid delays.
Where will my SSD appeal hearing be held?
As of September 2016, the Office of Hearings Operations (OHO) had 166 hearing offices located across the nation. Tallahassee, Jacksonville, Tampa and Miami are only a few of the many cities in Florida which have OHO hearing offices available. You will be notified by letter of your scheduled hearing site, along with date and time, at least 75 days prior to the hearing date.
Who will attend my Social Security Disability hearing?
An Administrative Law Judge (ALJ) will preside over the hearing. The judge may be at your hearing location or he may lead your hearing via video teleconference. You and the SSD attorney representing you will be expected to attend the hearing, assuming you are medically able to do so. There may also be a vocational witness and a medical witness attending your hearing to testify to your employability and the details of your disability.
What happens during the Appeal hearing?
During the hearing, the judge will ask you to give testimony about your disability and employability. The judge may ask for testimony from the expert witnesses as well. The hearings are often completed in 30 minutes to an hour’s time. If you choose our attorneys to represent you, we will help you prepare prior to the hearing and be there to guide you as necessary.
When will I learn the results from the hearing judge?
You should not expect to receive your hearing results at the time of your disability hearing. Generally, the results are sent to you via mail within a few weeks or months following the disability hearing. If you have been awarded benefits, Southeast Disability Advocates will assist you in applying for those benefits through the Social Security Administration. If your claim for benefits has been denied, we will consult with you on requesting a review of the decision.