The San Diego Disability Law Group Explains the Nature of Social Security Hearings
If you have to appeal your denial for Social Security disability benefits in a hearing before an administrative law judge, you may be anxious about your hearing and curious as to what you should expect.
All that each judge is required to do according to Social Security regulations is look fully into the issues at hand, question you and any witnesses you bring, and accept into evidence any materials you bring that help prove your case.
HALLEX Guidelines for Social Security Hearings
The Social Security Administration also has a manual called HALLEX that outlines some of the broad procedures. However, there is not a strict procedure for administrative law judge hearings. Outside the broad HALLEX guidelines, most of the details are left to each individual judge’s discretion.
Beyond that, however, hearing procedures can vary wildly. Some administrative law judges prefer to ask witnesses many specific questions, while some will ask only a few open ended questions and expect your Social Security disability representative to direct witness testimony with follow up questions. The length and scope of the administrative law judge’s opening statement can also vary wildly. Administrative law judges may ask witnesses to remain in the waiting room until it is their turn to testify, or they may allow all the witnesses into the room.
Social Security Hearings are Easier with a Representative by your Side
You should not let this worry you, however. With a knowledgeable Social Security disability representative in San Diego by your side, you will enter that hearing prepared, regardless of how it is structured.