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The SSDI Hearing Process: Administrative Law Judge (ALJ) Hearing

When seeking Social Security Disability Insurance (SSDI) or Supplemental Security Income (SSI) benefits, it’s not uncommon for initial applications and reconsideration requests to face rejection. If you find yourself in this situation, The Law Offices of Mark T. Hurt is here to guide you through the appeal.

When an individual is represented by one of the best SSDI appeal attorneys, the chances of appeal approval increase by approximately 40%. However, eligibility for the benefits remains a crucial factor for the hearing’s success. When you’re equipped with the right qualifications and an experienced legal professional, the hearing process can unfold seamlessly.

If your initial SSDI application and reconsideration were rejected, we invite you to call The Law Offices of Mark T. Hurt to schedule a free consultation to learn more about an ALJ hearing and how we can tenaciously fight in seeking to secure the disability benefits you deserve. 

What Is the Likelihood of Being Approved At the ALJ Hearing Appeal Stage?

Only about 30% of SSDI and SSI applicants receive approval at the initial application stage. The reconsideration phase sees an even lower approval rate, at roughly 15%. While these statistics may be discouraging, it’s vital to remain persistent, as a significant number of claims are approved at ALJ hearings.

Nationally, over 50% of applicants who appeal their case to an ALJ are approved. Further, this stage of the appeals process has the highest rate of SSDI acceptance. Given the notably high approval rate at the ALJ hearing stage, it’s imperative to pursue an appeal. This phase often represents the best opportunity for claimants to secure the benefits they deserve, emphasizing the importance of not letting an initial denial deter them from continuing the process.

What Happens During an SSDI ALJ Hearing?

An Administrative Law Judge (ALJ) oversees the official hearing. These hearings are private affairs, meaning family and friends offering support must wait outside the hearing room. At The Law Offices of Mark T. Hurt, our advocates will stand by your side during the ALJ hearing, ensuring a compelling case for maximum benefits is presented.

The hearing typically takes place in a conference room setting. However, if attending in person proves challenging, video conferencing is an available alternative. Throughout the hearing, a disabled individual and their SSDI appeal attorney can present their case. This stage also allows for witness testimonies and medical expert consultations. The ALJ might delve into questions about the disability, its impact on the individual’s work abilities, and its origin. A vocational expert may also be in attendance to inquire further. As SSDI appeals lawyers with over two decades of legal experience, our legal team can prepare you for an ALJ hearing and guide and support you throughout the questioning. 

What Types of Information Will I Be Asked About During An ALJ Hearing?

While each hearing is unique due to individual disability circumstances and application histories, some standard procedures remain consistent. The ALJ will typically inquire about an applicant’s:

  • Educational background,
  • Employment history,
  • Medical treatments, and
  • Other life-impacting events.

With our advocates by your side, you’ll be well-equipped to provide comprehensive answers and documentation, ensuring you receive a fair hearing where your narrative is genuinely heard.

Expert testimonies and medical expert consultations can also be used to bolster claims, emphasizing the debilitating nature of a disability. Claimants may also have the chance to make additional comments directly to the ALJ. As experienced SSDI appeal lawyers, we can help you craft a persuasive narrative that poignantly conveys the depth of your disability, resonating powerfully with an ALJ. 

What Happens After An SSDI ALJ Hearing?

After a hearing concludes, anticipate a waiting period of up to 60 days or more before receiving the judge’s decision. Our dedicated team at The Law Offices of Mark T. Hurt will monitor the decision closely, updating you as soon as it’s available.

In the event of a hearing disapproval, don’t be disheartened. While denials can be frustrating, they are not a final determination. Benefit approvals often require steadfast persistence, possibly leading your case to an appeals council and, subsequently, the federal court.

Remember, this process, though intricate, is one that countless individuals undergo annually. Partnering with The Law Offices of Mark T. Hurt substantially boosts your likelihood of eventual success in the appeals process. And once approval is secured, you’re likely entitled to back pay for the duration of the appeals.

Navigating the SSDI appeals process can be intricate and overwhelming; however, you do not have to face it alone. Reach out to The Law Offices of Mark T. Hurt and schedule a free consultation with our experienced SSDI ALJ hearing lawyers.

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We hired Mr. Hurt to help settle a worker’s comp injury case for my husband. Mark, Bart, and Mary worked tirelessly to resolve his case and reach a settlement we were pleased with. They were always available to answer questions and returned calls in a timely manner.
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