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Frequently asked questions about SSDI hearings

On Behalf of | Sep 30, 2022 | SSDI

If the Social Security Administration denies a Social Security Disability Insurance (SSDI) claim, applicants may appeal the decision.

One step in the appeals process is to attend a hearing. While attending in-person meetings to discuss disabilities may seem overwhelming, knowing the answers to these frequently asked questions might encourage applicants to move forward with the appeals hearing.

Why should applicants request hearings?

The first steps in the SSDI process only provide information through written documents. Hearings allow applicants to meet with decision-makers in person to present evidence of their disabilities and answer detailed questions.

Who attends the hearings?

Hearings are formal meetings where several people discuss applicants’ qualifications for SSDI. Administrative Law Judges oversee the hearings and usually have court reporters documenting the encounters. Applicants may also have vocational specialists, doctors, and witnesses available to provide additional information about their disabilities.

What type of questions might judges ask at the hearings?

While each person’s case is unique, there are several questions that judges might ask at hearings. Some common topics include:

  • The applicants’ job requirements before the injuries
  • Any restrictions on sitting, standing, and lifting
  • The pain level of the applicants
  • The applicants’ ability to care for themselves
  • Difficulties with work experiences since the injuries

Applicants should provide detailed explanations to all questions asked so judges can make informed decisions about SSDI applications.

Receiving a denied application does not mean the chance to claim SSDI is over. Understanding the appeals process and knowing what to expect during the hearings allows claimants to prepare evidence to increase their chances of approval.