Preparing for the ALJ Hearing
In most states, the ALJ hearing is something you request after the Request for Reconsideration of a denied application has resulted in a second denial. In some states, like Pennsylvania, the ALJ hearing is actually the first step in the appeals process. In either case, this is often your first real opportunity to get your claim approved.
At this stage, being prepared is an absolute must.
At the Philadelphia law offices of Chermol & Fishman, we help people in eastern Pennsylvania, New Jersey, and Delaware prepare for, and succeed at the ALJ level of appeals. During his time as SSA’s senior disability litigator for Mid-Atlantic Region III, attorney David Chermol provided both national and regional training to many of the administrative law judges who decide these cases. Today, we encourage you to put that inside experience on your side and Call (215) 464-7200 for a free consultation.
What Happens at the ALJ Hearing?
The ALJ hearing process is actually a fairly informal proceeding that is usually held at a Social Security hearings office.
Before that hearing takes place, we will do a thorough review of your case and make certain that all of the evidence relevant to your disability gets into the record for review. During this process, we will also be working to prepare you for the kinds of questions that the ALJ is likely to ask and how you can frame your answers in a way that makes sense to them.
Who attends the actual hearing itself? Generally, you, your lawyer or representative (if you have one), the administrative law judge and a hearing reporter will be present. At some hearings, there may also be a medical or vocational expert hired by SSA. You are also allowed to have witnesses give testimony on your behalf.
After the hearing, you can generally expect a decision within 60 days.