Social Security Disability Resource Center

Overview | How to Qualify | Applications
Requirements | How long it takes | Back Pay
Mental Disability | What is a disability? | Tips
SSI Benefits | How to Win | Disability Awards
Hearings | Appeals | List of Disabling Conditions

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.

  • What medical conditions will get you approved for disability?

  • What kind of Mental Problems Qualify for Disability?

  • Which conditions will social security recognize as a disability?

  • Tips for getting Social Security Disability or SSI benefits approved

  • SSDRC Homepage:

    Social Security Disability and SSI Resource Center

    New and featured pages on

    Social Security Disability Requirements

    Social Security Disability list of impairments

    Social Security Disability Application

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    How much income can you earn on Social Security disability?

    If you get denied at a disability hearing, can you win later?

    How much can an attorney charge for Social Security disability?

    Can you get approved for disability based on Ulcerative Colitis?

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    Common Mistakes to avoid after being denied for Disability

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    More Social Security Disability SSI Questions and Answers

    Common Questions about Social Security Disability and SSI

    Winning Social Security Disability or SSI Benefits

    The SSI Disability Benefits Program

    Medical exams for disability claims

    Applying for Disability in various states

    Social Security Disability SSI and Doctors - Yours and Theirs

    Social Security Disability and SSI Claim Reviews

    Social Security Disability SSI System and Benefits for Children

    Denials, Appeals, and Getting a Disability Lawyer or Representative

    What you should know about Social Security Disability and SSI Denials

    Questions about Disability Lawyers and Hiring a Disability Attorney

    Frequently asked questions about getting Denied for Disability Benefits

    FAQ on Disability Claim Representation

    Disability hearings before Judges

    Selecting and hiring Disability Lawyers

    Various Types of Benefits including SSI, Mental, and Child benefits

    Social Security and SSI based on Mental Disability

    Social Security Disability or SSI Benefits for Children

    Disability Benefits through Social Security

    Filing for Social Security Disability or SSI Benefits

    Social Security Disability SSI: Medical Evidence and Records

    Filing your claim for disability benefits

    Eligibility for receiving disability benefits

    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

    Resources on this site

    Social Security Disability, SSI Terms and Definitions

    Previously answered questions regarding SSD and SSI

    For Individuals living in North Carolina

    Applying for Disability in North Carolina

    North Carolina Disability Lawyer

    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
    Can I get disability for a back condition in Kentucky?
    Will I Qualify for Disability in Kentucky?

    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