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The Administrative Law Judge hearing (ALJ) is the third step in the appeals process. It takes about two years to get to this point in the process, but it’s worth it. These hearings are different than going to see the a Social Security claims manager so you need to do your homework.
One of the most important things to remember about an ALJ hearing is that you have the right to representation. Again, these hearings are different than other meetings you’ve been to so far, and having an experienced attorney with you will give you peace of mind.
Before the hearing happens you can submit any new evidence that the SSA does not already have. If you have evidence to submit, you should submit it as soon as possible in order for the judge to have plenty of time to review it.
During the hearing, get ready to answer a lot of questions. Here are some commonly asked questions.
You won’t be the only one answering questions. Witnesses, including doctors, might be called in to answer questions as well.
After the hearing the judge will write their decision after they consider all the evidence and testimonies. A copy of this decision will be sent to you.
Going through an ALJ hearing can be intimidating, but if you know what to expect you can get through it. One of the best things you can do to prepare for an ALJ hearing is to invoke your right to use an attorney. By doing so, you’ll have a friend in your corner who knows the system and works for your best interest.
Jan Dils, Attorneys at Law