What happens at a social security disability hearing?

Usually the first thing that happens is the Administrative Law Judge will take a few minutes to explain the process and swear you in. Then the Judge will ask some preliminary questions about your household, your age, height, weight, etc. The Judge will then either turn the time over to your representative to draw from you testimony about your impairments or problems. The Judge may interrupt with their own questions or may choose to lead the questioning.

After your testimony, the Judge will ask some hypothetical questions to the vocational expert. The Judge here is trying to find out if a hypothetical person with your impairments can do any job. After the Judge has laid out the restrictions of a hypothetical, the Vocation Expert will then be asked to list any jobs that can still be done in spite of the restrictions of the hypothetical. Each hypothetical will layer on more and more restrictions until there are no jobs that the Vocation Expert can think of that would still apply.

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