What to expect during your ALJ Disability Hearing

Many applicants for social security benefits become disheartened after an initial denial of their claim of disability. In addition to the pain and suffering of the disability and the emotional stress of no longer being able to work, financial worries will often begin to rack up, creating stress and worry. This can cause some applicants to become hopeless. Others often don’t know where to turn for help in protecting their rights and obtaining the benefits they deserve.

If you’ve suffered a denial of an initial claim for SSI disability benefits you aren’t alone. Over 60% of initial applications are denied, with certain states having an even higher denial rate of 70% or more. While these statistics may seem disheartening, there’s no need to panic just yet. What many applicants don’t realize is that there are additional routes available and that initial rejection of your disability benefits claim isn’t the end of the road in getting you the resources you’re entitled to.

You Must Ask for A Reconsideration Prior to Appeal

How to Request a Hearing

Types of Evidence that May be Presented at the Hearing

The varied types of evidence that may be presented at your hearing are one of the reasons a higher percentage of appeals are approved. Unlike in your initial claims process or reconsideration, witness and personal testimony, medical experts and other individuals may testify as to your injury or inability to return to work. You or your legal representative may also question witnesses. Questions must be answered under oath, but the proceedings themselves are far less formal than a typical legal case.

Another difference between a reconsideration and appeal is that new evidence is allowed to be presented. This is especially helpful for applicants who may have been deficient in their initial filing. Additional medical records, statements, pictures or other evidence may all be used to help bolster your claim. For some applicants, this makes an appeal hearing much like a second chance to correct a defective initial filing.

After the Hearing

After your disability benefits appeal hearing, the ALJ will make a decision and inform you in writing. In over 50% of appeals cases the result is favorable and claimants will be granted their benefits. One of the reasons for the increased level of success is that many applicants will enlist the services of a disability law lawyer to represent their interests at the appeal hearing.

A lawyer experienced in the disability application process can often help ensure your submission is complete, deadlines are met and that your case is thoroughly explained to the administrative law judge. If you’re considering filing an appeal for a hearing, call the Law Offices of Justin McMurray, P.A. for an initial consultation. Our licensed attorneys will provide a no cost analysis of your claim and can provide deeper insight into what to expect during the claims process, ensuring the best possible outcome for your disability law case.


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Contact our office to discover the difference it can make to have a team on your side that puts your best interests above all other concerns. Our Ocala lawyers believe everyone deserves to have the benefit of experienced legal counsel. Therefore, our law firm offers free consultations. We do not want the concern about paying for a legal consultation to prevent you from getting help with a legal matter. We want you to have the legal counsel and guidance you need as you choose the best option for you to resolve your legal matter.

Call our Ocala law firm at (352) 519-4299 to speak with an attorney now. Do not wait any longer to learn about your legal rights and options regarding your situation.