When do you see a judge for a Social Security Disability or SSI claim?

The ALJ disability hearing (a hearing conducted by an administrative law judge) typically presents the best opportunity for a claimant to win a case for SSI or SSD disability benefits. There are multiple reasons for this, of course.

1. Administrative law judges are independent of the hierarchical managemenent structure of the social security administration and of disability determination services, the agency where disability examiners work on claims at the disability application and reconsideration appeal levels.

2. ALJs do not have to worry about making "too many approvals on cases" because their decisions are not monitored by external quality control (by contrast, the decisions of disability examiners are subject to automatic, random reviews by something known as DQB, the disability quality branch, the impact of which is to actively discourage examiners from making approvals on claims).

3. Disability judges actually give consideration and weight to the opinions of treating physicians. The social security administration considers a treating physician to be a doctor that has an established history of treatment with a patient and, therefore, can offer a credible opinion as to the individual's prognosis and limitations.

Officially, social security is supposed to give credence to a treating physician's statement if it has been obtained to support a Social Security Disability or SSI claim, but, historically, disability examiners have tended to disregard such statements.

At disability hearings, however, this is not the case and ALJs give treating physician statements, or medical source statements, enough consideration that cases can be won based on them.

4. At a disability hearing, a claimant, and their social security attorney can present a rationale for the approval of a claim, complete with supporting evidence and possibly some discussion as to why the case should have been approved at earlier steps versus being denied.

About the Author: Tim Moore is a former Social Security Disability Examiner in North Carolina, has been interviewed by the NY Times and the LA Times on the disability system, and is an Accredited Disability Representative (ADR) in North Carolina. For assistance on a disability application or Appeal in NC, click here.

Most popular topics on SSDRC.com

Social Security Disability in North Carolina

Common Mistakes to avoid after being denied for Disability

Tips to Prepare for Filing for Social Security Disability or SSI

Advice to Win SSD and SSI Benefit Claims

Social Security Disability SSI Questions

What is the difference between Social Security Disability and SSI?

How to get disability for depression

Getting disability for fibromyalgia

SSI disability for children with ADHD

What is the Application Process for Social Security Disability and SSI?

Social Security Disability SSI Exam tips

More Social Security Disability SSI Questions

What makes you eligible for Social Security Disability or SSI?

Related pages:

How long do I have to be off work before I can apply for disability in North Carolina?
Social Security Disability and Going In Front Of A Judge - What Happens?
Do Most People Need To See A Judge To Get Disability Benefits From Social Security?
Can you still Appeal if the Judge denies your Disability Claim?
Is An ALJ (Administrative Law Judge) More Likely To Grant A Claim For Social Security Disability or SSI?
How Long Does It Take To Go Before A Judge For Disability Benefits?
Does The Social Security Judge Use The Same Rules As The Disability Examiner?
How do I see a judge for my Social Security Disability case or SSI Claim?
Do you have to see a judge to get disability benefits?
When do you see a judge for a Social Security Disability or SSI claim?
What Percentage Of Social Security Disability or SSI Cases Does A Judge Deny?
Can I get disability with anxiety, IBS, asthma, migraines, OCD, bad vision, and depression?
SSI Back Pay after being Approved
Getting a good disability lawyer
Social Security Disability listings and medical exams
Getting a Disability Lawyer in Pennsylvania
If you apply for disability in Pennsylvania
Will I qualify for disability Benefits in Pennsylvania?