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Disability Hearing

If you are waiting for your disability hearing, you may find useful information at This website has information about specific Administrative Law Judges (ALJ) along with reviews from other claimants who have had experience with the judge. You will be able to look up the judge that has been assigned to your case and see what percentage of case approval or denial that judge has. Or, if you do not know who your judge will be, you can compare all the different judges in your local Office of Disability Adjudication and Review (ODAR).

You can use this website to see how many ODARs are in your state. You can see the average hearing wait time, average processing time and approval percentage by state. You can also see statistics such as how many judges are in each state, how many cases are dismissed, approved or denied and what the average number of dispositions a day each judge can produce.
There are disability hearing articles where you can learn more about the hearing process, what to expect and what you can do to increase your chances of winning your case. is updated monthly. It is a good resource for finding information that is related to your disability hearing. Being informed about what the hearing process is like and what your chances are for approval is helpful and can be assuring since your will better know what to expect.

ODAR stands for the Office of Disability Adjudication and Review. It is a branch of the Social Security Administration. Once you have been denied for disability benefits and your appeal is also denied, you file a request for a hearing. At this point your case is forwarded to ODAR.

You will receive various letter from ODAR over the course of your hearing including confirmation that your case was received and notification of when your hearing date is.

The Office of Disability Adjudication and Review holds the hearings and issues the decisions regarding whether or not you will receive disability benefits. There are over 160 hearing offices with more than 1,600 Administrative Law Judges across the nation. It is these ALJs that hear your final appeal and determine whether you will receive benefits of not.

Administrative Law Judges are employed by the Social Security Administration and their job is to hear Social Security Disability cases that have been denied and filed for appeal. Each office also has a Hearing Office Chief Administrative Law Judge (HOCALJ). The Hearing Office Chief Administrative Law Judge works under the Social Security Departments Chief Administrative Law Judge (CALJ) who has the power to make decisions regarding new policies for the ODAR offices across the country. The HOCALJ is also responsible for helping to establish any new policies into his/her ODAR office location that have been designated by the CALJ. This insures that all offices are run with the same procedures. The local HOCALJ has the same responsibilities as an ALJ but in addition he/she assigns cases to the Administrative Law Judges in the office, oversees their cases, and helps them to interpret the law as it relates to current cases; in short, the Hearing Office Chief Administrative Law Judge acts as an adviser to the other Administrative Law Judges in the office.

Most social security disability claims are denied the first time they are submitted. About 70% of claimants are denied benefits. That does not mean that you are not eligible to receive disability benefits.

If you are denied, you will get a letter in the mail which will describe your condition, the impairments that were considered, medical records and an explanation of why you were denied. The explanation may be that there are other jobs that you can perform. Or it could state that you missed a deadline or that your substantial gainful activity produced too much income to qualify.

As soon as you have been denied you are able to file a request for reconsideration. This is the first level of appeal. You have 60 days to file this request. (If you miss this deadline you will have to begin your application process all over again.) You will be mailed forms to fill out for the reconsideration which you need to return as soon as possible. The request will be turned over to a disability examiner just like with your first claim.

If your reconsideration appeal is also denied, your next step will be to request a hearing with an administrative law judge (ALJ). This means you will have a face to face meeting where a judge will ask you questions and possibly hear testimony from medical or vocational experts. When the claimant is represented by an attorney the chances of winning benefits with the approval from an ALJ is about 60%.

You may want to consider seeking the assistance of a Social Security Disability Attorney if you have been denied on your initial claim or your reconsideration appeal. These attorneys have been trained in the law and are aware of how to best present your case. You have a better chance of winning your claim with the help of an attorney. If you feel you are eligible for disability benefits then continue to pursue your claim even if it feels daunting.

What to Know About Your Hearing

California SSDI and SSI Lawyer

There are potentially several stages involved in the process of applying for Social Security Disability Insurance (SSDI) or Supplemental Security Income (SSI). First, a person must submit an initial application. If that application for SSDI or SSI benefits is denied by the Social Security Administration (SSA), the applicant must submit an appeal for reconsideration within 60 days.

If a timely appeal is made, the applicant’s claim is reviewed under reconsideration. If the SSA denies the applicant’s claim after reconsideration, the applicant has 60 days to file an appeal seeking a hearing in person before an Administrative Law Judge (ALJ).

About the Hearing

The hearing itself is rather informal, but it is best to be dressed appropriately with a neat, clean appearance. If you do not know what to wear or have other questions about your hearing, call Jorgensen Law at 888-855-2948. Our law office is located in San Diego, California. We are pleased to assist people throughout the state of California.

The average time required to schedule an ALJ hearing is approximately 8-12 months, and after your hearing the judge will typically take between 30 to 120 days to issue a decision. If you have an attorney, your attorney will receive a notice or your approval or denial of benefits from the Social Security Administration at the same time that you do, so they will not know the outcome of the case before you do.

Contact Jorgensen Law

The best way to protect your rights and increase your chances of receiving maximum benefits in the fastest manner possible is to retain an experienced Social Security Disability attorney. Our firm has an astonishing record of success in Social Security cases, having helped approximately 90 percent of our clients receive benefits.

To contact our San Diego, Los Angelese or Riverside, California law office for a free consultation, call 888-855-2948, or contact us by e-mail.

Dave, in San Clemente, California asks “I just received the notice that my application for disability was denied, how long do I have to appeal?”

From the date that your Social Security Disability claim is denied, you have 60 days to appeal. When you appeal, your case will be sent back to Disability Determination Services for re-evaluation. Most reconsideration appeals are denied, however some are approved. If your condition has worsened and it is reflected in your updated medical records, then there is a good chance that you could win your appeal.

Monica, in Carlsbad California, asks “I have a disability hearing next month, what do I need to bring to the hearing?”

Jean, from Escondido California, asks “Is it better to have a Disability Attorney or Non-Attorney Rep, and what is the difference?”

ODAR stands for Office of Disability Adjudication and Review. ODAR administers the hearings and appeals program for the Social Security Administration. ODAR is in charge of conducting hearings for Social Security Disability Insurance (SSDI) and Supplemental Security Income (SSI).

Todd, in San Ysidro, California asks “How far back will Social Security pay me if I am approved for disability?”

Getting approved for Social Security Disability or Supplemental Security Income can be a long process. Fortunately, once you are approved, the Social Security Administration will pay you for the past months that you were eligible for disability benefits; however there are some limitations for how many months you will be able to collect back pay.

If you apply for Social Security Disability Insurance (SSDI) benefits or Supplemental Security Income (SSI) benefits and your application is denied, you can request a reconsideration appeal. If your reconsideration appeal is denied, you can request a hearing with an Administrative Law Judge (ALJ). The Social Security Administration has a branch called the Office of Disability Adjudication and Review (ODAR). In this branch, there are over 1,100 administrative law judges nationwide. There are 141 hearing offices in the United States where these administrative law judges conduct hearings for the Social Security Administration.

Bill, in Carlsbad, California, asks “What happens after I file a hearing request for my SSDI claim?”

After you file a hearing request for your denied Social Security Disability Insurance (SSDI) claim, or Supplemental Security Income (SSI) claim, you will receive a letter from the hearing office. The letter will provide the contact information for your local hearing office including the address and phone number. The letter will also explain your right to representation (if you don’t already have representation).

James, in Temecula, California, asks “My SSDI claim was denied by a judge at a disability hearing, can I get another hearing?”

If you have been denied benefits for Social Security Disability Insurance (SSDI) or Supplemental Security Income (SSI) at a disability hearing, there are 2 ways you can try and get another hearing.

Thomas, in El Centro, California, asks “I just received a denial letter regarding my Social Security Disability hearing. Should I request a review from the appeals council or file a new application?”

Don, in Oceanside, California, asks “Can I bring a witness to my disability hearing?”

Yes. You can bring a witness to your Social Security Disability Insurance (SSDI) or Supplemental Security Income (SSI) hearing. However, there is no guarantee that the administrative law judge will allow your witness to testify or provide input. This is entirely up to the judge.

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