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What to Expect at an SSDI Hearing

June 30, 2022 Social Security Disability

The Social Security Administration (SSA) regularly denies applications for disability benefits. As discouraging as this can be, your situation is far from hopeless. You have options, one of which is filing an appeal which includes requesting a hearing before an administrative law judge (ALJ). If handled correctly, your chances of success at this stage are quite good. Your best option, however, is to work with an experienced Tampa Social Security disability lawyer who can make sure that you get the benefits you need.  

Your Hearing is Not a Trial But Is Still a Formal Legal Proceeding

People sometimes focus too much on the fact that the hearing will be presided over by a judge and imagine a courtroom drama similar to what you might see on television. Other people assume that the hearing will be an informal meeting where you can sit down to discuss your case and explain why you really need your disability benefits. 

The truth is somewhere in between. There will be no jury and the hearing will not be in a courtroom. The hearing will most likely be held in a nondescript conference room and the ALJ may not even be wearing a robe. 

That said, the proceedings will be recorded in some way and transcribed. The ALJ will receive evidence and hear testimony from witnesses, including medical experts who will testify as to the extent of your disability. 

The hearing may be your best chance to receive the benefits you need and you should therefore take it very seriously. It is vital that you be prepared, focused, and organized. You are not required to be represented by an attorney, but an experienced Tampa Social Security disability lawyer can handle all of the heavy lifting so that the hearing can proceed as smoothly as possible. 

You Will Be Questioned by the Judge

The ALJ will ask questions, most of which will focus on your disability. There is no script that the ALJ must follow – some judges will ask more questions than others. It is also important to understand that the ALJ isn’t trying to prove that you aren’t disabled. They are trying to develop the record and want to hear about your disability in your own words. Here are some examples of some of the questions they may ask:

  • Do you need help with basic activities in your daily life such as cleaning, shopping, or cooking? 
  • Are you in pain?
  • What medications are you taking? 
  • Do you need to rest throughout the day?

An experienced Tampa Social Security disability lawyer will be able to anticipate the questions they will ask and make sure that you are fully prepared to answer any questions the ALJ may ask. 

You May Have to Wait for a Decision 

The ALJ may inform you of their decision at the conclusion of the hearing or may take some time to consider the evidence and render a decision. If the judge does not decide your case right away, you may need to wait three to four weeks to receive a written decision in the mail. 

Contact Tampa Social Security Disability Lawyer Mike Murburg Today

If your application for Social Security disability benefits has been denied, you need to take immediate action in order to protect your rights. Tampa Social Security disability lawyer Mike Murburg can get your appeal filed and represent you at the hearing. To discuss your case and how we can help, contact us today at 877-SSI-ATTY to schedule a free consultation.