Although appearing before an administrative law judge (ALJ) can seem intimidating, it does not need to be. The help of an experienced Chicago Social Security lawyer can do a great deal to reduce the stress involved.


Chicago Social Security lawyer's hands foldedThe ALJ officiates at a Social Security disability hearing. The judge may or may not wear robes, and it is not necessary to rise when he or she enters the room. Your Chicago Social Security lawyer will advise you, however, that you must accord to the ALJ the deference you would to a judge in a court of law.

Even if you received a denial during the initial application and reconsideration phases, the ALJ will decide on the case independently. Your Chicago Social Security lawyer can assure you that the original denials have no bearing on the ALJ’s review and subsequent decision. A favorable decision occurs in more than half of the cases submitted, so the probability of success in your case is at its most positive at this level.

The Hearing

The Social Security disability hearing is not a trial. You are not cross-examined by an attorney, nor will the judge do so. The judge will review the information pertinent to your claim as a neutral party, not as a challenger or an enemy. Your Chicago Social Security attorney will caution you not to view the judge in that light.

Don’t Take Your Anger Out on the ALJ

Once a claim reaches the hearing stage, it is not unusual for the claimant to be angry at the system. Two denials of disability benefits that may or not be adequately justified can certainly be aggravating. The procedure takes up a great deal of time, there are delays and refusals along the way, and your Chicago Social Security lawyer may remind you that this can add up to a very frustrating situation. However, the judge should not be the object of your anger, as he or she has no control over the difficulties you have experienced.

Ask Questions for Clarification

Questioning the judge as to why your case has not been reviewed sooner or why it was originally denied is not advisable. Further, since the judge is familiar with the appeals process and all its vagaries, a review of the issues you have encountered is not necessary. Your Chicago Social Security attorney can advise you that the time to ask questions of the judge is when you are uncertain of the meaning of the questions he asks you. Legal terminology can be difficult for a layperson and judges understand this. A politely phrased question concerning clarification of a point, a question or a legal term is no cause for embarrassment.

Be Polite

When you speak to the judge, be candid, courteous and straightforward. There is no need for medical or legal jargon. Normal, polite, everyday language is preferable.

Contact a Chicago Social Security Attorney

Your Chicago Social Security lawyer can you through these proceedings. Contact us today.