Tips for a Disability Court Hearing

Prepare For Your SSDI Disability Hearing by Contacting Our Experienced Disability Lawyers in Southern California

Navigating the intricacies of Social Security Disability (SSD) benefits can be a complex and challenging journey. That is why the majority of initial claims are denied by the Social Security Administration. The good news is that there is an appeals process available to you. In many instances, this will involve attending a disability hearing. While this may seem overwhelming to some, the disability hearing lawyers at Perona, Langer, Beck and Harrison Law Firm are here to guide you through the SSD disability hearing, ensuring you have the best possible chance of success.

Wondering how to prepare for your SSDI disability hearing? Contact our disability lawyers in Southern California today to learn more!

What is a Disability Hearing?

If your application for SSD benefits is denied by Social Security, you have a right to appeal. The first step in the appeals process is filing a Request for Reconsideration, but less than 20 percent of reconsideration claims are approved.

If your reconsideration claim is denied, you can request a disability hearing. During this hearing, you will present your case before an Administrative Law Judge (ALJ) who will evaluate your eligibility for SSD benefits. The judge will consider your medical condition, work history, and other relevant factors, making the right legal representation pivotal to your success.

What to Expect at a Disability Hearing?

Understanding what to expect at an SSD disability hearing is essential for minimizing stress and anxiety. It is important to note that a disability hearing is not a court proceeding, but an informal meeting run by an Administrative Law Judge that is held at a Social Security Administration hearing office.

The only people that will be present at the disability hearing is yourself, your attorney, the ALJ, expert witnesses that the ALJ asks to attend the hearing that can elaborate on your medical conditions, your work history, and types of jobs that exist in the national economy, and possibly other witnesses that the ALJ allows you to call to testify about your medical conditions and limitations.

During the hearing, the ALJ will ask you about your disabling condition, medical treatment, past employment, educational background, and your limitations. You may also be questioned on your daily life and how the condition affects your ability to care for yourself and others. The ALJ will also allow your SSD lawyer to ask questions that may strengthen your case as well.

A decision on your eligibility will not be made at the hearing. After the hearing, the ALJ will consider all the evidence presented and issue a decision. You will receive written notice of the decision by mail.

Tips for a Disability Hearing

The success of your appeal lies heavily on your ability to answer questions posed by the ALJ. That is why you need an experienced disability hearing lawyer in Southern California on your side. At Perona, Langer, Beck and Harrison Law Firm, we ensure that you are thoroughly prepared for this important day.

In addition to having a skilled disability lawyer to prepare you, here are some additional tips to help position you for a successful disability hearing:

  • Be aware of deadlines: Generally, you will have 60 days from the time you are notified of a denied claim to request your disability hearing. If you miss the deadline, you may lose your right to any further review of your claim.
  • Consider a teleconference or video hearing: Social Security Disability hearings may be held in person or via teleconference or video. The teleconference or video option sometimes allows your hearing to be scheduled more quickly and allows you to do the hearing from the comfort of your home rather than having to commute to a hearing office.
  • Submit any new evidence early: If you have new or updated medical evidence regarding your disability, submit it as quickly as possible so that the judge will have ample time to review it. In some cases, new evidence may actually result in an early decision in your favor, preventing the need for a disability hearing.
  • Never skip a hearing: Claimants must attend disability hearings. There are very limited circumstances where your hearing can be rescheduled for “good cause” if you fail to attend. If you miss the hearing and you do not have “good cause,” this will result in your case being dismissed.
  • Dress appropriately: Because disability hearings are not very formal, you don’t have to dress up for your appearance. But you should show respect by dressing appropriately—business casual would be fine.
  • Stick to the symptoms: You will be asked questions about your disability and how it affects your prior job activities. When answering questions, don’t go into the medical definitions of your problem. This should already be in your file. Instead, focus on describing the symptoms and limitations imposed.
  • Consider an OTR: If you have a strong case for SSD benefits, your attorney can write a legal letter brief requesting an “on the record decision.” This could result in the case being resolved in your favor without the need for a hearing.
  • Don’t give up: In 2021, around 50 percent of SSD applicants won their hearings, so it is well worth your while to persevere through this stage of the process. Plus, the U.S. Government Accountability Office has found that claimants who have representatives at these hearings have an allowance rate nearly 3 times higher than those without representatives (

Do not try to navigate the complexity of a disability hearing alone. Instead, contact Perona, Langer, Beck and Harrison for help.

An Experienced Social Security Disability Lawyer Can Help Prepare You for Your Disability Hearing

You are entitled to have a “representative” assist you at your disability hearing. For many, this means settling for an Advocate. If you want the best chance to win your appeal, that isn’t the best option. Instead, make sure your representative is a skilled Social Security Disability lawyer.

At Perona, Langer, Beck and Harrison, we have extensive experience in this highly specialized area of disability law. We know what kinds of medical evidence and testimony should be presented to support your appeal, and we also know how to effectively cross-examine any vocational or medical experts who may be asked to evaluate your disability. You can rely on us to make sure you are fully prepared for your disability hearing so that you know what types of questions to expect and how to answer them.

Contact Our Social Security Disability Lawyers in Southern California to See If You Qualify

If you are considering applying for Social Security Disability benefits or need assistance with an existing claim, Perona, Langer, Beck and Harrison Law Firm is here to help. Our dedicated Social Security Disability lawyers have a deep understanding of the SSDI application and appeals process. Contact us today at (800) 435-7542 to schedule a free consultation and let us help you secure the benefits and support you need.