In the event your application for Social Security Disability has been denied, you can appeal the decision through a disability hearing. A hearing is presided over by an Administrative Law Judge (ALJ), who will hear the evidence, listen to witness testimony, and make a ruling. Chances are many Alabama disability applicants have never gone through a disability hearing, so they should be aware that hearings for disability can take a number of forms.
According to the Social Security Administration, if a hearing is granted, a common way for applicants to make their case is by going to the disability hearing in person. You will receive a notice no more than twenty days before the hearing that tells you where and when the hearing will be conducted. Typically, the hearing will be held no further than seventy-five miles from where you live.
If attending a hearing
If you attend a hearing, the ALJ will ask you questions under oath. You have the right to bring an attorney along with you. During the hearing, you can present evidence, and if necessary, you or your attorney may ask questions of witnesses. Your privacy is also protected. The SSA points out that only the audio of the hearing is recorded. Video recordings of the hearing will not be created.
Applicants who would find it too burdensome to attend a hearing in person can ask for a video hearing. A video hearing is much like an in-person hearing. You would still bring a representative or witnesses with you. The difference is that the ALJ is presiding in a different location, conducting the hearing through a video transmission. Some disability applicants choose video hearings because they are easier and quicker to set up than an in-person hearing.
Finally, some disability hearings are conducted over the telephone. As the SSA points out, this is an extraordinary circumstance, used only when an applicant is unable to make a hearing appearance in person or cannot access a video teleconference. Some circumstances, such as a natural disaster, residing in an institution, or being incarcerated, may permit a telephone hearing to be utilized.