Sunday October 22, 2017

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Don't be discouraged. You have 60 days to appeal. The next step is to file a Request for Hearing Before An Administrative Law Judge. The administrative hearing is your only chance to personally present your case to a decision maker. This proceeding is where the majority of claims are awarded. Understanding the disability claim rules and properly presenting your case is the key to benefits being awarded. Your case will be randomly assigned to an Administrative Law Judge (ALJ). You will be asked to provide testimony supporting your case. You will also be allowed to provide testimony and evidence from your own medical sources, family members, friends, and other individuals with personal knowledge about your condition. the ALJ may also call expert witnesses to testify in your case and you will have the opportunty to cross-examine these experts as well.

After the Request for Hearing is filed, there are several options for issuing a decision:

  1. Prior to the hearing the ALJ has the option to issue a fully favorable decision on the record. Favorable on record decisions are more likely to occur when your representative has submitted a prehearing brief setting forth the arguments and rationale for an award of benefits.
  2. During the hearing the ALJ has the option of announcing that a fully favorable decision will be issued.
  3. After the hearing, if the record is complete, a written decision will generally be issued within 30-60 days. A copy of this decision will be sent to you and your representative. If the record is left open for additional medical evidence to be submitted, the decision would be delayed accordingly.

If a denial is received, you will have 60 days to file a Request for Review of Hearing Decision. Your file then goes to the Appeals Council for a review of the completed record.

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