If you are denied benefits you may appeal the Social Security Administration's (SSA) decision. The appeal process consists of four stages. The first appeal available is reconsideration. If you disagree with your reconsideration determination you may appeal again. This second appeal is an Administrative Law Hearing.
What Is an Administrative Law Hearing?
- Appearing at the Administrative Law Hearing before a judge
- Having your file reviewed by a judge in your absence
How Do I Request an Administrative Law Hearing?
Within 60 days of receiving your reconsideration decision you must notify the SSA of your intent to appeal. If you want your benefits continued while your claim is appealed you must make a request in writing within 10 days of receiving the reconsideration letter. If your appeal is not filed on-time you risk having your claim dismissed.
When and Where Is the Hearing Held?
Administrative Law Hearings are usually held within 75 miles of your home. It can sometimes take up to 10 months for your hearing to be scheduled. Generally, you will be notified of the date of your hearing 30 days before it is to be held.
How Do I Prepare for a Hearing?
- Review your file
- Submit additional evidence to the judge
- Decide if you need additional medical exams
- Ask witnesses to testify on your behalf or ask the judge to require their attendance
Why Should I Attend an Administrative Law Hearing?
- Provide additional information
- Explain your position in person
- Question witnesses
How Is a Decision Made?
The judge will make a decision based on your file and any new information given at the hearing. Generally, within 30 days the SSA will send you a letter with the judge's ruling.