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What is a disability hearing, and what can I expect?

If you applied for Social Security Disability (SSD) benefits in Tennessee and your claim was denied, you don't have to give up. You can appeal the decision.

The first step is to submit a "request for reconsideration" — essentially asking the Social Security Administration to review your application again.

If your application is denied a second time, you still don't have to take that rejection as final. You can move on to the second level of appeal and request a "disability hearing" before an administrative law judge (ALJ).

Although you will be meeting with a judge, it will not be anything like a criminal trial. As the National Organization of Social Security Claimants' Representatives points out, there will be no jury, no spectators and no prosecutor. The whole process is relatively informal. Typically, the only people present are:

  • You
  • Your attorney
  • The ALJ
  • A courtroom assistant
  • A physician and/or vocational specialist

You can expect the ALJ to review your medical records and ask you specific questions about your symptoms, your ability to perform certain tasks, etc. He or she may also question the medical and vocational experts present. Essentially, the ALJ is trying to determine if you are capable of any type of employment.

Having a lawyer on your side during the disability hearing can provide many benefits. He or she can potentially prepare you for the kind of questions the judge may ask, gather the specific medical evidence needed to support your claim, counter objections raised by the vocational experts and more.

The bottom line is that a disability hearing is an excellent opportunity to present your case in person and get another chance at having your claim approved.

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  • "Thank you so much for your constant help on getting SSI disability for my girl. Without ya'll I wouldn't have gotten her the health and financial help. If there is anyth..." Jennifer B, Tennessee stars
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We serve clients throughout the United States. We charge no fees in disability cases unless we recover benefits for you. To schedule your free consultation with a Social Security Disability lawyer, call 800-945-4950 or contact us by email.

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