Many SSDI cases in the state of Georgia end with a hearing before an administrative law judge. This may be the best chance of success for many applicants, as it typically involves a considerate and experienced professional considering their case and meeting them in person.
Applicants may have to wait up to two years from the date of their original application to receive a hearing date. A successful Gwinnett County SSDI hearing could be essential to your financial future, so it may be important to understand what to expect and to be fully prepared to testify on your own behalf. With proper preparation and presentation of evidence, this could be a productive experience that works in your favor. Contact an experienced SSDI attorney to pursue a hearing for your SSDI case.
When and Where is an SSDI Hearing Appropriate?
The SSDI application process could be a long and complex one if an applicant’s initial application is denied. Applicants may need to file an appeal at this point to continue with their case, and then a second appeal if the first ends in rejection.
Only once this second appeal is denied could an applicant request an in-person hearing. This could take place more than two years following the initial application.
While a central or regional Social Security office may handle the original SSDI application, appeal hearings are typically conducted in smaller Offices of Hearing Operations (OHO) meant for the sole purpose of conducting SSDI appeals hearings. For applicants in Gwinnett County, there are three separate potential SSDI hearing offices in Atlanta alone.
While the hearing location is technically a courthouse, the hearing itself might more closely resemble an interview. The only parties present would typically be the judge, a hearing officer who assists the judge, a vocational expert, the applicant, and their attorney.
What an Applicant Could Expect
Every administrative law judge who conducts SSDI hearings in Gwinnett County may have their own style for the hearing, but their goal may typically be to ascertain the effect that an illness of injury had on a person’s ability to work. The judge in any individual case may likely inquire about:
- How long the condition has existed
- What treatment options the applicant has undertaken
- How the condition affects the applicant’s day-to-day life
- The applicant’s daily routine
- Any medications the applicant takes
The judge may ask these questions directly or ask the appellant’s attorney to lead the discussion. The testimony provided must be given by the applicant in either case. While a lawyer could help to guide the hearing and ask questions that they feel highlight the appellant’s inability to work, they cannot testify on their behalf. An SSDI hearing in Gwinnett County typically lasts from 30 minutes to an hour.
Impact an SSDI Hearing in Gwinnett County Could Have
An SSDI judge’s hearing is the culmination of a long and difficult SSDI application process. It may be essential upon reaching this point to understand what to expect and what you need to prove.
While appearing before a judge might be intimidating, these are people who take their jobs seriously and could help those who genuinely need it. The burden lies on the applicant to prove that they are unable to work. Much of this could be done by submitting medical records, but an in-person hearing may also be used to drive home the idea that your day-to-day suffering does not allow for gainful employment.
A seasoned lawyer could help you prepare for and pursue a positive result through a Gwinnett County SSDI hearing. Get in touch today to see what one could do in your unique case.