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Step 3: Request for Hearing before an Administrative Law Judge (ALJ)

The next step is to request a hearing before a Judge. Again, this hearing request can be made online, in person, or by mail. If you are already a ManleyReynolds client or are contacting us for the first time, we will file this request for you.  

The hearing is the only chance you get to talk to someone about your medical condition, your ability to do daily activities, and your ability to work.  Every step before this one has been made on paperwork only.

 

By this point, many medical records have been gathered by DDS.  Hopefully, the record is complete up to this point.  From the denial of the recon to the end, it is up to the client to obtain and turn in medical information.  No one from the Administration will be gathering any further records on your behalf.   This means as the months tick by before the hearing, you will need to get and send in the medical records for each doctor or hospital you see after the denial of the recon.  When you are our client, we ensure these things are provided to SSA on your behalf.

 

You will be scheduled for a hearing and will need to be present on that date and time to testify.  Hearings at the moment are in person, on TEAMS, or on the phone.  No matter the type of hearing, all hearings are the same.  This is the claimant’s chance to talk to a person and help SSA decide that you are, in fact, disabled and cannot work in the job market.  This is done by a series of questions and answers from the Judge.  If you have hired us, we will talk to you before the hearing so that you know everything that will happen at your hearing.  We will also be at the hearing with you and ask you questions at the hearing. The ALJ and our questions are designed to explain how your medical situation prevents you from working full-time in the job market. Our attorneys also prepare and submit to the judge before your hearing a detailed brief on why you are disabled, what medical records back up your position, and if you meet or equal any listings.  

 

Subsequent to the hearing, the Judge will make a written decision and send it out to you.  Claimants are rarely told at a hearing that they will be getting benefits or that the ALJ is writing a fully favorable decision.  

 

The Judge can decide you are disabled, you are disabled but from a different date then you said or that you are not disabled.  The letter will say fully favorable, partially favorable, or unfavorable.

 

If the ALJ finds you are disabled, you will then receive letters in the mail stating what your monthly benefit will be and what, if any, back pay you will receive.

 

If the ALJ finds you are not disabled, you can still appeal that decision. 

 

Claimants who go to a hearing without an attorney are approved about 35% of the time.  Our office has an approval rate of about 80% before the ALJ’s. 

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833-438-7734

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