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What should I expect at an Administrative Law Judge hearing?

When an individual in New Jersey satisfies the requirements to obtain Social Security Disability Insurance benefits, but had their initial application and appeal for reconsideration denied, he or she may feel anxious about the next step in the appeals process. Going before an administrative law judge is an opportunity for an objective party to issue a ruling on an individual's case, but it can also feel intimidating.

The Social Security Administration expects that in 2013, over 800,000 individuals will request an ALJ hearing. For individuals in New Jersey, the aid of an experienced SSDI attorney can be invaluable in the pursuit of benefits. An experienced attorney will know what to expect at an ALJ hearing, and build a strong case on behalf of the individual to increase the likelihood of a favorable ruling for benefits.

One report estimates that of individuals that arrive at an ALJ hearing without the assistance of an attorney, only 47 percent will be successful in a ruling to obtain benefits. At an ALJ hearing, it is crucial for the individual to be prepared to discuss their work history, medical records and disability. Hearings can last an hour, but that hour can have a huge impact on an individual receiving assistance when that individual is unable to work.

Individuals in New Jersey that have their request for reconsideration in the appeals process denied must move quickly in requesting an ALJ hearing. The subsequent hearing may be the only chance a struggling individual has to give voice to their plight and their need for benefits. An attorney can help an individual strengthen their voice and strengthen their case.

Source: Allsup, "Social Security Disability Program Reaches 1,500 Judges To Handle Disability Appeals, Allsup Reports," April 10, 2013

  • Our firm has experience with matters of this nature in New Jersey. For more information, please refer to our page on ALJ hearings.

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