The Social Security Disability Hearing

A Social Security disability hearing is an informal interview held before an Administrative Law Judge (ALJ). It is not an adversarial proceeding in that the Social Security Administration is not represented by an attorney. The Social Security Administration claims that its only goal is to provide benefits to claimants who are disabled and deny benefits to those who are not. The ALJ is a neutral fact-finder whose job is to determine whether the claimant is legally disabled. A Syracuse Social Security disability attorney may be able to help guide you through the process.ALJs as a whole grant benefits to about 60 percent of all claimants who have a hearing. While all ALJs are supposed to be neutral, some grant benefits rarely, while others grant them more liberally.The role of a Syracuse Social Security disability attorney is to:

  • Gather and submit medical records, medical opinions and other documentary evidence.
  • Present witness testimony.
  • Examine witnesses called by the ALJ.
  • Present your case in its best light to show that you are legally disabled.

An effective Syracuse Social Security disability attorney does not treat the ALJ as an adversary, even when the ALJ is clearly wrong. Good ALJs let an attorney know when they have a concern with a particular issue. This way, your attorney knows what the ALJ’s concerns are and can focus the argument on those issues. At the hearing, you may testify in person or by video teleconferencing. The rules of evidence are fairly lax, and the ALJ may review evidence that might not be admissible in a regular court. Strict deadlines for submitting evidence do not usually apply. If your attorney deems it necessary, your attorney may request the ALJ to issue a subpoena for evidence not available at the hearing or request more time to present the evidence after the hearing, if necessary.For advice on your Social Security disability claim, contact us.


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