Free Consultation

818-905-6611

Blog

Our Los Angeles Disability Attorney Discusses Your Administrative Law Judge

Posted on :March 25, 2015Byjpadmin

man with blindness disabilityIf you are no longer able to work, our Los Angeles disability law attorney may be able to help you get the benefits you deserve. An Administrative Law Judge is someone who presides over a Social Security disability hearing. ALJs do not usually wear robes, but you are still expected to stand when one comes into the room and pay him or her the same respect you would pay any other judge. It is an ALJ’s job to come to an independent decision on your eligibility for disability benefits. This decision is independent because it does not take into account whether you were denied the first time. More than 50% of all ALJ decisions favor the claimant, so this is easily your best chance of winning benefits in the Social Security appeals process.

Disability Hearings

An informal Social security hearing is not adversarial, which means that you will not be cross-examined by another lawyer. The judge will not likely cross-examine you, either. Instead, the ALJ is more likely to ask you a series of questions about your limitations and to determine the facts of your claim. While most people are angry by the time they reach the hearing stage of the disability process, it is important to remember that the ALJ is not your enemy. Treat this stage as a completely separate component of the application process and focus on answering the judge’s questions in a polite and honest way. The ALJ is not responsible for any problems you may have encountered with Social Security in the past. He or she is simply responsible for hearing your claim, and has no say over the frustrating process that led you to your hearing. It is also unnecessary to ask the judge why your claim was denied or delayed as he or she has no responsibility for these things either. The only case in which you should ask an ALJ a question is to clarify a question being asked of you or to clarify some other necessary fact. Judges often ask questions in complicated ways, so do not be afraid to ask for a clarified version. It is essential not to answer any question you do not fully understand, even if it means asking the ALJ to clarify himself from time to time.

Honesty

The best way to approach an ALJ is as if you are speaking to an old friend you have not seen for a long time. Be professional and courteous in the ways you explain things and bring him up to speed on the current events in your life as it relates to disability. Avoid being overly technical in your terminology or too stiff in an attempt to seem more professional. Simply tell the truth in a casual yet professional manner and your hearing will be more effective. Your Los Angeles Disability Attorney may be able to help coach you in this matter.

Contact a Los Angeles Disability Attorney

Call Lowenstein Disability Lawyers, A Law Corporation today at (800) 954-7752 to speak with a disability attorney in Los Angeles.

 

Free Claim Evaluation11

  • We help Southern California Social Security disability claimants at all stages. If you are thinking about applying for Social Security disability benefits, have had your application denied, or have had your Request for Reconsideration denied, please answer the questions below if you would like us to review your case.

    An asterisk (*) indicates required fields

  • List the medical conditions that affect
    your ability to work:

  • This field is for validation purposes and should be left unchanged.