Administrative Law Judges conduct Social Security hearings in order to determine whether applicants are eligible for Social Security Disability (SSD) or Supplemental Security Income (SSI). Often, claimants are denied benefits once, or potentially two times. While the hearings are informal, they can include various professionals, including an attorney, a vocational expert, a medical expert, and a court reporter.
The purpose of a hearing is for the claimant to testify regarding their need for benefits. They must show that they are disabled, as defined by law.
Typically, the judge asks questions of the claimant in order to understand the case. When an individual is represented by an attorney, the attorney may ask questions that elicit a response providing the judge with important details. A representative, such as an experienced disability lawyer, can help provide complete and helpful answers at a disability hearing.