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What happens after my SSD hearing?

What happens after my SSD hearing? 

After bringing your Social Security Disability case before an administrative law judge (ALJ), your file will stay at the local Office of Hearings Operations (OHO) until the judge finishes the decision writing process. Once they make the decision, it is written by staff decision writers and reviewed again by the judge. After determining your Social Security Disability hearing status, the judge may send your Disability file to your local Social Security office. 

What Happens Post Hearing? 

Approved: If you received an approval for your disability claim, a representative at the Social Security district office will ask you to prove whether you’ve been involved in substantial gainful activity (SGA) since you filed your claim. If you’ve engaged in substantially gainful work (in 2019, this means making more than $1220 per month), the SSA may still decide to deny your claim. 

Denied: If you receive a denial of your claim, your file may be held at the OHO in case you decide to make an appeal. In this instance, you would receive a denial letter with instructions on how to conduct an appeal. 

Award Notice: If you’re approved and the SSA representative doesn’t find a reason to deny you after the fact, you will receive a Notice of Award letter to tell you the good news. It will describe whether the judge gave you a partially favorable or full favorable decision based on your alleged onset date. If he or she changes your onset date, you may receive a different amount of backpay. 

The Award Notice letter will let you know how much money you’ll receive and when you can expect benefits to start. So, how long does it take to get a decision? It can vary based on where you live and how many local cases were filed before yours. 

Receiving Payment: If you are approved for Social Security Disability Insurance (SSDI or SSD) only, your file will go to a payment processing center. As long as the judge placed your onset date more than five months before you were approved, you should begin to receive payments within a month. 

If, however, you were approved for Supplemental Security Income (SSI), your file will remain at the district office. You’ll need to speak with a field representative about any income you may have to make sure your payments don’t need to be decreased. They will also require information about other government benefits (such as workers’ compensation or unemployment) and any bank accounts you have open to be sure that your resources fall below the SSI eligibility limits. As long as you’re still qualified, you should receive your first payment within a few months. 

If you’re approved for both SSD and SSI, your case will still be checked by the district office, but your SSDI will be handled by the payment processing center. Because the district office and payment center have to work together to make complicated calculations regarding your backpay, your payments may be delayed. 

How to Appeal 

If you’re denied for Disability benefits or your onset date as determined by the judge, you can make an appeal to the Appeals Council within 60 days of receiving your hearing notice. You can increase your chances of winning an Appeals Council review by speaking to a Disability attorney at the Jorgensen Law. Call us today at 1-888-855-2948 to set up a free initial consultation. We understand that waiting on a Social Security Disability hearing decision is stressful. Let us fight to get you the benefits you deserve.