FAQs about the Hearing Process

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    Common Questions about the Ohio Social Security Disability Hearing Process
    The administrative hearing is a non-formal process, but that does not mean non-causal. Instead, judges will consider your appearance; therefore, you should dress comfortably, but respect the setting. Wear clothes that accommodate your disability, and you do not need formal attire. If you are in doubt, ask your attorney if a particular outfit is suitable for the hearing.

    The SSD hearing process in Ohio is non-adversarial and informal; therefore, your judge will question you directly at some point, but most questions are directed at your attorney. Your lawyer will also ask questions he or she feels are important to the case, doctors will present evidence and reports, and vocational experts might testify about your ability to work.

    Some Administrative Law Judges use experts at every hearing, but some avoid wasting state funds on experts when the documented evidence is strong enough to support the claim. In Ohio, you can expect a vocational expert at every hearing, but you rarely see medical experts called in to testify.
    Sometimes a judge will decide at the hearing. In most cases, they must review the evidence and wait for additional evidence before making their decision. Therefore, it is hard to say how long after the hearing a judge may decide.
    SSA does not have a large staff handling every case they receive, and over the last few years, they have received a reduction in workforce. Therefore, without the budget and employees, SSA backs up easily.