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

Do you need a Lawyer at the Administrative Law Judge Disability Hearing?

Most disability applicants will need a lawyer at the ALJ disability hearing if they wish to significantly increase their potential to win their disability case.

This is simply a point of reality considering that an unrepresented claimant will have zero understanding of how the disability determination approval process works, and what should be done to properly prepare a case for presentation to an administrative law judge.

On top of all this, of course, is the fact that a claimant will be at a severe disadvantage should the judge have a medical or vocational expert appear at the hearing. Responding properly to hypotheticals raised by an expert, or addressing new hypotheticals to an expert witness, can help determine whether or not a claim will be approved by a judge.

Back to the speed aspect, however, having a lawyer for your administrative law judge appeal may make the disability process faster by requesting the judge make a decision on the face of the record, or on the record.

What is this? If your lawyer provides medical records that indicate you are disabled or they believe the records contained in your disability file support an approval of disability benefits, they may ask the judge to make a disability determination without an actual hearing. This can eliminate many months of time that would usually be spent simply waiting for a hearing date.

Barring a disability decision on the face of the record, your lawyer can also send a letter of dire need to the hearing office to expedite the processing of your request for a disability hearing. If your lawyer files a dire need letter, make sure the letter is sent along with evidence that you are indeed behind on your rent, mortgage, or utility bills, or that you have a definite need for medications which you cannot afford.

Note: It is important to remember a dire need letter may or may not affect the wait time for an administrative law judge disability hearing. It really depends upon the backlog of hearings in your area's hearing office.

Social Security hearings offices receive thousands of dire need letters from individuals just like you who are at their financial wits end because of their inability to work and earn a living. Having said this, dire need requests for expedited hearings are often still worth the effort. In some cases, they can eliminate an entire year of waiting.

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

Related pages:

What does a Social Security Disability Attorney or Representative do for your claim?
Getting a Social Security Disability Attorney or Representative for your case
How will an attorney help me win disability benefits?
Disability Lawyers, Medical Records, and Social Security Hearings
What Expenses Will A Social Security Attorney Charge In Addition To The Fee?
Can a disability attorney speed up my disability hearing case?
Should you get a Disability Lawyer before you File for Disability, or get an answer on your claim?
Using a lawyer for a Social Security Disability, SSDI, case
Social Security Disability and Bilateral Hearing Loss

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.

How to file for disability, SSD or SSI
How to file for Disability and what medical conditions qualify
How long will it take to get disability?
What if your disability gets denied?
How to Prove you are disabled and qualify to win disability benefits
How to get disability with a mental condition
How long for Social Security Disability Back pay
Social Security Disability SSI eligibility