The Role Of The Administrative Law Judge (ALJ)
If you are filing an appeal for Social Security Disability (SSD) benefits in North Carolina or elsewhere, chances are your case will go before an administrative law judge (ALJ). ALJs are federally appointed judges who handle SSD claims at the hearings level.
If you have a claim pending, it’s likely that your claim will be denied and you will have to go through the appeals process, which includes going before the ALJ.
What Does The ALJ Do?
When you file an appeal for SSD benefits, the ALJ will review your medical records, work history and the explanations given for denying benefits. At the hearing, the ALJ will attempt to gather as much information as possible about your condition and determine whether you qualify for benefits.
The judge will ask questions of:
- You, the applicant (or your lawyer)
- Medical experts
- Vocational experts
In short, the ALJ will look to gather information about your medical condition, your treatment, prospects for recovery and other important factors. The medical experts will interpret your medical information and provide testimony to help the judge understand your condition. The vocational experts will testify as to whether your condition prohibits you from finding alternative employment.
As mentioned, the judge will also want to hear from you regarding your condition. Your lawyer can speak on your behalf, which will likely improve your chances of having the judge approve your claim.
Your Attorney Can Help You When Going Before The ALJ
At Bridgman Law Offices, we are here to help you make sense of the SSD process. We are a Charlotte-based firm helping people throughout the region get the benefits they deserve.
If you have questions about filing an application or the appeals process, don’t hesitate to call us for a free consultation at 877-330-4817. You can also send an email inquiry by completing our contact form.