An administrative law judge is the person who presides over a Social Security disability hearing. According to an Arizona disability lawyer, there are some key differences between an ALJ and courtroom judge. For instance, you will not be required to stand as the judge enters the room and many ALJs choose not to wear judicial robes.
Social Security Hearings Are Informal
Unlike a typical court hearing, Social Security hearings are designed to be informal, not adversarial in nature. For instance, there will be no opposing lawyer to cross-examine you. The ALJ will not cross-examine you either in most cases, says an Arizona disability lawyer. The judge’s role is to learn the facts regarding your disability case, says an Arizona disability lawyer.
The Role of the ALJ
At your hearing, the judge’s purpose is to arrive at an independent decision regarding your eligibility for disability benefits, according to an Arizona disability lawyer. The ALJ should not be influenced by the Social Security Administration’s prior decision to deny your application. An Arizona disability attorney says that more than 50 percent of the time, ALJ’s approve benefits for claimants who had been denied. In other words, a hearing with an ALJ may be your best chance of getting a favorable decision.
How to Behave Towards the ALJ at Your Hearing
By the time a claimant has been granted a hearing before an ALJ, he or she is likely to be frustrated and angry with the Social Security Administration. An Arizona disability attorney would caution you against expressing your frustration towards the administrative law judge. The judge has no control over how the Social Security system functions.
In addition, the judge will not know the reasons why it took a long time to have your hearing or why your application was denied. It is not worth asking the judge these types of questions. An Arizona disability lawyer would advise you to refrain from asking the judge questions. You should only ask the ALJ for clarification if you do not understand the instructions the judge has given you.
The best approach with an administrative law judge is to treat him or her with the same openness and respect that you would give to a friend or family member. Talk to the judge the way you would speak to anyone else. An Arizona disability lawyer would advise you to describe your disability the exact way you would describe it to an old friend.
How the Judge Will Determine Whether You Are Disabled
A key to your Social Security disability hearing is understanding how the administrative law judge will come to a decision as to whether or not you qualify to receive benefits. It is not as simple as you might think and there are technical aspects you should learn. Knowing how the process is structured can assist you in presenting your case. Speak to your <strong><em>Arizona Social Security disability attorney</em> </strong>for more information.
An Arizona disability attorney can help you prepare your testimony for your disability hearing. If you would like to review your case with a lawyer, call Schiffman Law Office, P.C. at (602) 235-0539.