What is an Administrative Law Judge?
If your “Request for Reconsideration” for Social Security disability benefits has been denied by the Social Security Administration (SSA), you may appeal this reconsideration decision. You can appeal this decision by requesting a hearing in front of an Administrative Law Judge (ALJ).
An ALJ is an official employed by the Social Security Administration’s Office of Disability Adjudication and Review (ODAR). The ALJ will determine if you are disabled by hearing the facts of your case at a hearing.
The Administrative Law Judge makes an independent decision based on the evidence and your testimony at the hearing. You have the right to be represented at your disability hearing. You can attend the hearing by yourself, with an attorney or non-attorney representative. Many Administrative Law Judges hear hundreds of disability appeals every year, so it may benefit a disability claimant to have an experienced lawyer at his or her side to assist in the hearing process.