Texas lawyer Robert Kraft has on his Kraft Elder Law Blog a wonderfully informative article on what Social Security claimants can expect at the Hearing stage. Please check out Attorney Kraft's numerous other blogs as he is producing some great content on his blogs. Here is the article:
The administrative hearing is the third stage in a Social Security or SSI (Supplemental Security Income) appeal. After a denial at the reconsideration level a hearing is requested. It takes between 12 and 15 months to get a hearing date after the hearing request. Hearings are meant to be informal, fact-finding procedures.
The people present at the hearing are the claimant, attorney, judge and the reporter who is there simply to record the hearing and handle the file. Usually a vocational expert will be present in person or available by telephone. Sometimes a physician will be at the hearing. The job of these experts is to give opinions on the case, based on the record and the testimony. Lay witnesses, such as family members or former employers, may also appear and testify.