Overview of Disability

Disability Back Pay

Disability Requirements

Disability Applications

Disability Advice Tips

How long do cases take?

How to win Disability

SSD Mistakes to avoid

Disability for Mental

What if you get denied?

How to file Appeals

Disability through SSA

SSI Disability Benefits

Disability for Children

How do I qualify for it?

Working and Disability

Disability Award Notice

Disability Lawyer Q&A

Disability Conditions List

What is a disability?

Your Medical Evidence

Filing for your Disability

Disability Eligibility

SSD SSI Definitions

Recent Questions

SSDRC Disability Blog

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.

Return to:  Social Security Disability Resource Center, or read answers to Questions

Related pages:

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

Information on the following topics can be found here: Social Security Disability Questions and in these subsections:

Frequently asked questions about getting Denied for Disability Benefits | FAQ on Disability Claim Representation | Info about Social Security Disability Approvals and Being Approved | FAQ on Social Security Disability SSI decisions | The SSD SSI Decision Process and what gets taken into consideration | Disability hearings before Judges | Medical exams for disability claims | Applying for Disability in various states | Selecting and hiring Disability Lawyers | Applying for Disability in North Carolina | Recent articles and answers to questions about SSD and SSI

These pages answer some of the most basic questions for individuals who are considering filing a claim.

Filing for disability - How to file for SSD or SSI and the Information that is needed by Social Security
How to Apply for Disability - What medical conditions can you apply and qualify for?
Applying for Disability - How long does it take to get Social Security Disability or SSI benefits?
What happens if I file a disability application and it is denied by a disability examiner or Judge?
How to Prove you are disabled and qualify to win disability benefits
How do you prove your disability case if you have a mental condition or impairment?
Social Security Disability Back pay and How Long it Takes to Qualify for it and receive it
Social Security Disability SSI - Eligibility Requirements and Qualifications Criteria