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What to do if the Judge Denies Your Case at a Hearing

In the majority of cases in which claims are denied by an Administrative Law Judge (”ALJ”), there are usually issues that can be raised in appeal. It is important to appeal, for several reasons.

First, appealing your denial protects your rights to the benefits in the event that the Appeals Council issues an order for a new hearing. Without appeal, you will never again have a chance to receive the back benefits that were at issue in the unfavorable decision.

Second, an appeal gives your attorney an opportunity to correct any mistakes that the ALJ may have made. It also gives your attorney an opportunity to correct mistakes that he may have made in presenting your case, such as failing to get records, or failing to get statements about your disability from your treating doctors. Even competent attorneys make mistakes, and clients often overlook informing their attorney about a treatment source until the day of the hearing.

Third, appealing an unfavorable hearing decision puts the ALJ and Social Security on notice that your attorney, and you, are not about to give up on pursuing the matter.

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