Social security hearings give you a chance to make your case to a judge about why you deserve disability benefits.

Below we review what happens during a hearing, who is typically present, and what your role will be.


When you enter your hearing, you will see a judge sitting at a bench in a small conference room that’s set up to look like a mini courtroom. Beside the judge will be a hearing reporter whose job is to make sure you’re present at your hearing, you get in and out of the courtroom, and everything is recorded. To the other side of the judge will likely be a vocational expert. Vocational experts have master’s degrees in vocational rehabilitation and help people get back into the workforce when they can no longer do their current job.


Ultimately, the judge needs to determine whether or not you are able do any type of work that exists anywhere in the United States on a full-time basis. The vocational expert is there to inform the judge what alternative jobs exist, how many of them exist, and what it takes to do those jobs.


Sometimes, you may also see a medical expert testifying in your case. This is an impartial doctor who has reviewed all of the medical records in your case and will provide the judge with his or her opinion about what your likely limitations would be on a daily basis.


Your role that day is simply to be there on time, be open and honest with the judge, and wait for a decision.


If you have questions, call us at (508) 732-8989