How a SSD Hearing is Handled and Conducted

What Happens During the Administrative Hearing? 

The official regulations of the Social Security Administration do not go into very much detail regarding what happens at an Administrative Hearing. The hearings that I am involved in are almost exclusively done by way of video teleconference. The Administrative Law Judge is located in West Des Moines, Iowa in a hearing room.

Who Is in the Hearing Room? 

In the hearing room with the judge is what is a variety of professionals, one of which includes:

  • Vocational Expert: A person who works for vocational rehabilitation or for an insurance company. That person's job is to answer questions that will be asked in the hearing. These questions have to do with the claimant’s ability to be able to do past work or any other work based upon:
    • Age
    • Education
    • Past Work Experience
    • Residual Functional Capacity

How Administrative Law Judges Conduct a Hearing

Each Administrative Law Judge has his or her own way of conducting a hearing. For instance, the ALJ may ask most of the questions of a claimant, other ALJ’s may ask none of the questions and leave all questions to me, and in some of the hearings, the Administrative Law Judge will only ask the claimant about a claimants past work experience.

My Experience with Administrative Law Judges

We have no Administrative Law Judge who is unpleasant with a claimant. They view their job as to fully understand what the claimant’s issues are and why the claimant believes he or she is unable to work.

Most of my clients are naturally very worried about what is going to happen at an Administrative Law Judge Hearing. Quite frankly, after it is over, they wonder why they were so nervous. The Administrative Law Judges are nice, they ask nothing but questions about the claimant, and claimants are always in the best position to describe their condition and, accordingly, the hearings are not what I would describe as frightening at all. Once it has occurred you will not be too concerned about it.

Getting a decision back from the ALJ can now take anywhere from one to three months.

Before worrying about how your hearing is going to go, it is crucial that you line up the right representation. For help with your case, please contact me, Hugh Field at 855-801-1633.

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