How a SSD Hearing is Handled & Conducted

gavel and law books

What Happens During the Administrative Hearing?

In my experience, the hearings that I am involved in are almost exclusively done by way of video teleconference. The Administrative Law Judge is in West Des Moines, Iowa. The administrative hearing takes place in a hearing room.

Who is a Vocational Expert?

In the hearing room with the judge is what is a variety of professional, one of whom is a vocational expert, who is like a person who works for vocational rehabilitation or for an insurance company. That persons job is to answer questions that will be asked in the hearing.

These questions have to do with your ability to be able to do past work or any other work based upon:

  • Age
  • Education
  • Past Work Experience
  • Residual Functional Capacity

How Does an Administrative Law Judge 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. Getting a decision back from the ALJ can now take anywhere from one to three months.

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. After it is over, they wonder why they were so nervous. The Administrative Law Judges are nice, they ask nothing but questions about you, and you are always in the best position to describe your 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.

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