If you receive an SSI denial, you may feel helpless. Fortunately, according to the SSA, you can appeal the decision. When you appeal, you will have a new hearing scheduled.
Before your hearing, you may have questions about the process.
Will you appear before a judge?
While you can ask the judge to decide based on your file, you or your representative will appear before the judge in most cases. You may have an option to appear by teleconferencing or over the telephone in some circumstances. The Agency decides how you appear before the judge. If you cannot make it to your hearing, you need to contact the office in writing as soon as you know that you cannot make it. Depending on which occurs first, you cannot reschedule 30 days after receiving notice or five days before the date. In your letter, explain why you cannot attend.
What happens during the hearing?
A judge may ask you to have more medical exams for the hearing. Generally, SSI will pay for the tests and exams and schedule them for you. During the hearing, the judge may speak with vocational and medical experts about your condition and your ability to work. You can ask the judge for witnesses to attend the hearing. You need to request your witnesses at least 10 business days before the hearing. The judge will explain your case and ask you and the witnesses questions throughout the hearing. In addition, you can ask the witnesses questions and present any new evidence.
While the hearing is not formal, there will always be an audio recording. You can request a copy of all hearings.