SSD Appeals Process: Administrative Law Judge Hearing
By law, you have the right to appeal a decision made by the Social Security Administration (SSA) regarding your claim for Social Security Disability (SSD) or Supplemental Security Income (SSI) benefits.
The initial step in appealing a denied disability claim is reconsideration, where a new set of SSA administrators who are not familiar with your case will issue a new decision about your eligibility for benefits. A letter explaining the decision and how it was determined will be mailed to you shortly after the reconsideration process has been completed.
If you do not agree with the second decision, you are legally entitled to request an Administrative Law Judge (ALJ) hearing. While not a requirement, it is advisable to seek the help of a reputable Social Security Disability lawyer when requesting a hearing before an Administrative Law Judge.
At Gordon & Partners, our trusted SSD lawyers have the knowledge and experience needed to ensure you receive a fair decision from an ALJ. We will present all important documents, medical records and other evidence during your Administrative Law Judge hearing, and we will work diligently to secure a favorable decision for you.
For help with your request hearing by ALJ or appealing a denied claim, contact us today.
Timeline to Request a Hearing by ALJ
In most instances, you will have 60 days after you receive the SSA's reconsideration determination to request a hearing by ALJ. If you do not request a hearing within the allotted 60 days, your claim is likely to be dismissed. This means you may not be eligible for consideration by an ALJ and you may also lose your right to any further appeals.
If you wait more than 60 days to request an appeal, you must have sufficient evidence to prove the delay was necessary or beyond your control. For example, if you did not receive the SSA's reconsideration determination letter in a timely manner due to a mail delivery error, you may still be eligible to file a request for appeal with the SSA.
In these very rare instances, you must explain the reason for your lateness to the SSA and file a written request for an extension.
Preparing for an Administrative Law Judge Hearing
Before your hearing, it is very important to look closely at any new evidence that may support your case. Any new evidence you would like the ALJ to consider should be mailed with your request for hearing, or at the very latest, 10 days after filing your request.
It is also important to ensure all evidence is received by the ALJ before your hearing is set to take place. If the evidence is not sent in time, the ALJ may not be able to take it into consideration, or they may decline the evidence altogether. An experienced Social Security disability lawyer from Gordon & Partners can help decide if there are any new case developments that may be beneficial to your appeals hearing. They can also handle the task of collecting and submitting all pertinent evidence for consideration at your hearing.
Requesting a hearing by an ALJ is often a lengthy process, and there are certain measures you can take when preparing for your hearing that can help the process move as quickly and smoothly as possible.
Firstly, if you would like a lawyer to represent you at your hearing, be sure to contact them early in the appeals process. In order to represent you properly, a lawyer will need time to review your case files and prepare the best possible argument on your behalf. If you wait to secure legal representation, your hearing may have to be postponed to allow the lawyer enough time to adequately prepare for your hearing.
Also, it is imperative to arrive on-time for your scheduled hearing, and to not cancel your hearing unless it is absolutely necessary. Having to reschedule your hearing can delay the ALJ's decision in your case by a substantial amount of time. ALJ hearings are scheduled two to three months in advance, so rescheduling can significantly delay the outcome of your hearing.
And as mentioned earlier, be sure to submit all new and pertinent evidence before the date of your hearing. New evidence can be submitted by either you or your SSD appeals lawyer. Submitting new evidence in a timely manner may result in an early and favorable decision for you, which would eliminate the need for a hearing. If a hearing is still required, submitting your evidence early can eliminate the possibility of your hearing being dismissed by the ALJ.
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Need Help With Your Administrative Law Judge Hearing?
Many SSD claimants who have been denied benefits turn to a trusted attorney for help appealing the SSA's decision. At Gordon & Partners, our SSD appeals attorneys have decades of experience representing clients who were wrongly denied disability or SSI benefits. We have helped countless disabled workers receive the financial compensation they are entitled to, and we can help you, too.
When you consult with one of our esteemed lawyers, we will thoroughly review the details of your case and explain any issues that may have prevented your SSA application from being approved. We will collect new medical evidence and speak with doctors and vocational experts who may be able to testify on your behalf at your hearing. We will use all available resources and work diligently to ensure a favorable outcome in your appeal hearing.
If you need help with your Administrative Law Judge hearing, contact us today. All consultations with our skilled lawyers are 100 percent free, and we only get paid when we secure a favorable outcome for you.