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What is the worst mistake people make when they have a disability hearing before an Administrative Law Judge? Believe it or not.


You may be shocked to find out that many people, despite ample notice, miss their disability hearing. This is a HUGE mistake!  Don’t let this be you.

There is really no excuse for not attending your hearing.  Your hearing is scheduled 75 days in advance. You receive notice of hearing in the mail. Additionally, if you have an attorney, they will call you and tell you you have a hearing.

WORST MISTAKE Close-up Of A Judge Hand Writing On Paper Near Gavel On Desk In Courtroom

By the time you receive your hearing notice, you will usually have been waiting for your hearing for two years. There is really no excuse to miss the hearing. More importantly, if you miss the hearing and the judge dismisses your case, you will have to start all over again with a new application.

If your date late insured has expired and you miss your hearing, then you could lose out on all disability benefits. Likewise, if you are eligible to apply again, you will have to wait another two years to get a hearing on your new application. Additionally, you will lose out on all of the benefits from your first application.


You should arrive early to your hearing. Give yourself time to park and go through a metal detector. Once you arrive, check in to the hearing office so they know you are there.

You will also need to bring a VALID ID to the hearing office. This means a driver’s license, passport, or state ID that has not expired. If yours has expired, get a new and valid one prior to the hearing so that you don’t have problems.

Most SSA hearings are held in government buildings, like the Federal Building. For example, hearing in Salt Lake City are held in the Federal Building downtown. In Oakland, the hearings are also held at the Ronald V. Dellums Federal Building. This building also houses the IRS, the Veterans Benefits Administration, and the U.S. District Courts.

Because hearings are often held in Federal Buildings, you must have a valid ID in order to be let in. They will also check your ID twice. Once when you enter the building and for the second time, when you enter the hearing offices.

If you fail to get a valid ID, you have made the second worst mistake. Because even though you may show up to your hearing, the guards are not going to let you in. So, in short, you have waited two years and now you can’t have your hearing.


It is possible to postpone your hearing, but it can only be done in the most extreme circumstances. Don’t make the next worst mistake and fail to contact the hearing office and inform them you can’t make your hearing.

For example, if you have a medical emergency and are in the hospital, then call the hearing office. Tell them you won’t be able to make the hearing date. Sometimes, they can hold the hearing by phone if you are in the hospital.

If you have a car accident, for example, on the way to the hearing, then call the hearing office and tell them why you will not be there. Also, let your attorney know you won’t be there.

Next, you will you need to get proof from a doctor as to why you weren’t able to attend your hearing. Otherwise, the ALJ is going to dismiss your hearing request and deny your case. Please remember, this is a court of law. The Judge is a real Judge. When the Judge orders you to be there, you need to show up.


You can’t get disability benefits without appearing at your hearing. You are the main witness. What you have to say is crucial to your case. There is really no valid excuse for not coming to your hearing.

Most of the time, there is a two year wait to have a hearing. If you want the government to grant your disability case, then you need to be at your hearing. You also need to be there on time and be ready to testify.

In order to prepare for your disability hearing, you need to be ready to talk about the symptoms of your disability. You should hire an attorney. Your attorney can help you understand what questions the judge will ask at your disability hearing.

Additionally, there may be a medical expert (ME) at your hearing. The ME can testify about your residual functional capacity. The ME’s testimony will be based on your medical records. Your RFC is important because if you do not meet or equal a listing, then the vocational expert will use your RFC to determine if you can work. Learn more about vocational expert testimony here.

The medical expert can ask you questions during the hearing. But, the ME’s questions are usually only to clarify a fact in your medical history. Often, the ALJ will decide whether the ME’s question is pertinent to the case.

The ALJ may also ask the question herself or she may allow the ME to ask the question of the claimant. The ME, however, cannot conduct any type of physical or mental  examination during the hearing. If the ME tries to do so, your attorney should object.


You also need an attorney with experience to represent you in court. Find out here what medical evidence you need to submit to win your disability hearing.

At Cannon Disability Law, we have successfully won over 20,000 disability cases. We have the experience that you need to win your SSD and/or SSI disability benefits.  If you need representation at your hearing, contact Cannon Disability Law. Put our experience to work for you.

If you want to learn more about the representatives at Cannon Disability Law you can go to our About Us page. For example, Andria Summers can help you prepare for your hearing. She has also won thousands of disability cases. Dianna Cannon has been representing disability claimants for thirty years. Brett Bunkall also has significant experience helping people obtain their SSI and SSD benefits.

In the past 30 years, we have won over 20,000 SSDI and SSI cases for our clients. Our specialists can help you apply for disability benefits using the SSA’s website. Likewise, if you need an appeal, we can help you do that too.

There are also many forms that will need to be filled out. Don’t worry. If you have questions about these forms, we will answer them. You can learn more about SSA’s appeal forms here. Call us for free today.

Additionally, we represent clients in many states, including Nevada, Utah, Idaho, and California Find out more about Nevada disability benefits here. Learn more about Utah disability benefits and California disability benefits here.

No matter where you live, we want to be your disability legal team. Also, no matter what state you live in, we can talk to you for free about your case.  Contact us today. We will do our best to help you so you don’t make any of the worst mistakes prior to your disability hearing.

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