When and where do SSD benefit appeals hearings take place?

Unfortunately, many people in Knoxville who apply for Social Security disability (SSD) benefits will have their initial application denied. If this is the case, they do have the right to appeal the Social Security Administration’s (SSA) decision.

The first level of review is reconsideration, where a person who was not involved in the initial decision reviews the person’s application. If a person’s application is denied after that, he or she has 60 days in which to request an administrative hearing with an Administrative Law Judge (ALJ.) If a person does take this step, it is important to be fully prepared. And the first step in the preparation process is understanding when the hearing will occur and where it will be held.

The applicant will receive at least 20 days of advanced notice from the SSA of when and where the hearing will occur. A hearing before an ALJ does not take much time. In general, they’ll only take between 15 minutes to an hour. Therefore, it is important to arrive to the hearing on time, and even to arrive early if possible. If an applicant is late to his or her hearing, it may be possible for the hearing to be rescheduled, if there is an acceptable reason, such as bad traffic or getting lost.

In general, a hearing will take place at a location that is within 75 miles of the applicant’s residence. It could take place in one of the agency’s 161 hearing offices. If that is not possible, it may take place at a rented location. If an applicant has health issues that prevent him or her from being able to travel, the applicant can ask for a video teleconference. If for some reason an applicant does not want to appear to his or her hearing, he or she must file an official waiver, although it is usually to an applicant’s benefit to go to his or her hearing.

Those who are appealing a denial of their application for SSD benefits need to know where to go and what to expect. To learn more about when and where a hearing can take place, and what to expect once you get there, it may help to seek legal advice.

Source: FindLaw, “What Happens at a Disability Hearing?,” Accessed Oct. 29, 2016