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9 Signs You Won Your SSDI Hearing

Last updated: November 19, 2023

Social Security Disability Insurance (SSDI) is a federal disability program that provides financial assistance to people who cannot work due to a disability. Applying for SSDI is a complicated process, and obtaining benefits can be lengthy.

It is important to have a hearing before a judge, who will determine whether or not an applicant qualifies for benefits. If you have gone through the SSDI hearing process, you may wonder if you have won. This article will teach you some of the critical signs of a good ssdi hearing.

What To Expect In An SSDI Hearing

What To Expect In An SSDI Hearing

An SSDI hearing is a crucial step in obtaining benefits and can be intimidating. However, with the right preparation and knowledge, you can make the most of your hearing and increase your chances of getting the benefits you need. 

Before the Hearing 

Before your SSDI hearing, research the Administrative Law Judge’s background and read any relevant legal documents. You should also make sure that all of your medical records are up to date and that you have a clear understanding of why you are applying for benefits

Additionally, consider bringing a friend or family member to the hearing who can provide moral support and act as a witness if needed. 

During The Hearing 

You will be asked to provide your medical records and any other relevant documentation at the hearing. The judge may also ask you questions about your disability and how it affects your ability to work. 

It is important to be honest, and provide detailed, accurate answers to the judge’s questions. The judge will also listen to testimony from any witnesses or experts who may be present. 

After The Hearing 

Once the hearing is over, the judge will review the evidence and decide on your claim. This decision may take several weeks or months to be made. In the meantime, you should stay in contact with your lawyer and keep them updated on any changes in your condition or any new evidence that may be relevant to your case.

What Are The Signs That You Won Your SSDI Hearing?

When you attend a disability hearing, it is natural to feel anxious as you wait to find out the judge’s decision. The anxiety is even worse if you have been waiting months or years for a decision.

Fortunately, a few signs indicate you may have won your SSDI hearing. 

1. The Judge Doesn’t Ask Too Many Questions

One sign that you may have won your SSDI hearing is if the judge asks only a few questions. This could indicate that the judge is confident in your case and does not need to ask further questions that could delay the process. If the judge does not ask too many questions, this could signify that you won your hearing.

2. The Judge Assigned To Your Case Has A High Award Rate

The second sign that you may have won your SSDI hearing is if the judge assigned to your case has a high award rate. It is possible to research this information online. If the judge assigned to your case has a high award rate, they will likely rule in your favor. 

3. The Medical Expert Testified You Met A Listed Requirement

For many claims, the judge requires a medical expert with no pre-existing relationship with you to testify. They may initially request about their expertise and professional qualifications.

However, the most important part is to verify whether you meet the criteria specified in a listed impairment or, if not, whether your conditions are at a similar level of severity. If the medical expert testifies to their belief that you meet these criteria, there’s a high chance of a favorable outcome.

4. The Vocational Expert Testified There Are No Jobs You Can Perform

Aside from medical experts, vocational experts will also be asked questions. For the best results, the vocational expert must testify that you cannot perform work as you did before and that you will not be able to work based on the disability you’ve experienced. 

5. The Disability Attorney On Your Team Is Optimistic

If your disability attorney is confident and optimistic about the outcome of your case, this is a good sign that you may have won your SSDI hearing. Your attorney has likely reviewed the evidence and understands the law well.

If they believe you have a strong case, you won your hearing. 

6. The Judge Brought Up Your Older Age Repeatedly

If the judge brings up your age during the hearing, this is a sign that they may be leaning in your favor. Generally, age is a factor that is considered when determining whether or not a claimant is disabled.

If the judge points out your age multiple times, this could indicate that they are more likely to find you disabled based on your age. 

7. The Judge Issued A Bench Decision

If the judge issues a bench decision, they decide without needing additional evidence or testimony. This is typically a sign that the judge has already made up their mind and believes you have won your hearing. 

8. The Judge Asked To Talk To Your Attorney Before The Hearing

Sometimes the judge may ask to have a private conversation with your attorney before the hearing begins. Generally, if a judge asks for more information about your case, they are leaning towards ruling in your favor.

Can You Appeal A Judge's Decision?

SSDI denials can be discouraging and disheartening if you have applied for benefits. Don't give up, though. You can take several steps if the judge denies your SSDI claims.

1. Understand The Reason For Denial

The Social Security Administration (SSA) will provide you with an explanation of the decision. Carefully read the explanation to determine why your claim was denied.

2. Request A Reconsideration

If you disagree with the denial, you can request reconsideration. This is a formal appeal of the denial. You will have to provide additional evidence in support of your claim.

3. Request Another Hearing

If the reconsideration is denied, you can request a hearing with an administrative law judge. This is the most common way to appeal a denial. At the hearing, you will be able to present evidence and testimony supporting your claim.

4. Consider Other Benefits

If your SSDI claim is denied, consider other benefits that may be available to you. For example, you may be eligible for Supplemental Security Income (SSI) or other financial assistance programs.

Work With An Expert SSDI Lawyer

Though you can have clues and signs that your SSDI hearing went well, it is always best to keep yourself from assuming the results. You have to wait for the judge's decision before celebrating a win. Still, if you wish to have better results, you have to ensure you get a top-rated disability lawyer so you can present your case in the best way possible.

Prepare yourself better for SSDI through Disability Help! Check out our various free resources, starting with the guide to the SSDI approval timeline.

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Chloe Powers
Chloe works with policymakers on behalf of Disability Help to support their work at a strategic level, ensuring the conditions are in place for creative individuals and organizations to grow, reach their potential and effect relevant, sustainable change.
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