Even if you qualify for Social Security Disability Insurance benefits, you should anticipate denial of your initial application. After all, in 2018, the Social Security Administration refused to grant benefits to roughly half of those who sought them.
Often, applicants who receive initial denials end up receiving benefits after attending a benefits hearing before an administrative law judge. Preparing for this hearing may boost your chances of receiving the benefits you deserve.
The hearing is usually brief
SSDI benefits hearings do not typically last long. In fact, you can expect your hearing to conclude in an hour or so. At the brief hearing, which is private, you provide testimony. The ALJ may also ask vocational and medical professionals to testify.
Questions are straightforward
When you are testifying before an ALJ, you should plan to answer questions from your attorney, the government’s lawyer and the judge. These questions are usually straightforward, mostly covering your work history, your disability and your inability to work. Reviewing your application before the hearing allows you to provide consistent and honest testimony.
You receive an answer quickly
When you filed your initial application for benefits, you may have felt the SSA took forever to respond. That usually is not the case with the ALJ, fortunately. In many cases, the ALJ issues a decision within 60 days. You should not panic if your decision takes longer, however.
It can be frustrating to receive an initial denial of SSDI benefits, as you undoubtedly need your benefits to living. Ultimately, communicating clearly about why you qualify for SSDI benefits may convince an ALJ to approve your application.