Q. What is an Administrative Law Judge Hearing?

A. Social Security (SS) hearings are presided over by an Administrative Law Judge (ALJ). Fortunately, the Western North Carolina area is fortunate to have highly competent and fair ALJs. The hearings are conducted in a relatively informal manner, without a District Attorney or U.S. Attorney trying to deceive or confuse you on the “other side.” Depending on the ALJ’s preference, they may ask questions directly or allow your lawyer to do so. During your testimony, it is important to emphasize specific physical and/or mental challenges and how these conditions hinder your ability to work.

The ALJ will carefully consider all the evidence presented, including your medical records and the testimony from the hearing. Occasionally, the ALJ may call upon a Vocational Expert or Medical Advisor to testify. There is no jury or panel involved in deciding the case. Your lawyer will guide you through understanding the issues, expected testimony, and the overall procedure to ensure you are well-prepared for the hearing.