The lead-up to a social security disability (SSDI) hearing can be stressful. You and your disability attorney – if you are working with one – have been busy putting in all of the necessary paperwork for your claim. You also prepped for the questions that the Administrative Law Judge (ALJ) may ask during the hearing.

When the hearing finally happens, you are undoubtedly curious how it went – and if you’ll be approved for disability benefits. But is there any way to know if your case will be approved by how the hearing went? The short answer is no. And while it isn’t helpful to read into the situation too closely, some clues might tip you off if your case has been successful. 

ssdi hearing judge

Clues from Your Hearing that You May Be Approved for SSDI

While the most common outcome is waiting for the formal approval of your disability case, there are some clues that your hearing may lead to an approval. Here are the most common tips that your claim may be approved. 

  • Bench Decision – This is the only scenario where your SSDI case may be approved at the hearing. While rare, the judge is allowed to make a bench decision and approve your claim right away.
  • Medical Expert Weighs In – It’s always a positive sign when a medical expert makes a positive statement for your SSDI case. Expressly, they may state that your condition meets the criteria for disability. This would create a high likelihood that your case will be approved. 
  • Vocational Expert Weighs In – Often, the judge may ask the vocational expert if you will be able to return to work with your condition. If the answer is “no” and there isn’t much conflicting evidence to that viewpoint, there is a good chance your case will be approved. 
  • Judge’s Mannerisms – While many individuals feel like they get a “vibe” from the administrative law judge, this is typically a poor indicator of whether a case will be approved. Judges are hard to read, and part of the requirements of their profession is to remain impartial, so not much can be ascertained from their expressions, demeanor, or mannerisms. 
time to ssdi hearing 2022

While it may be difficult, it’s essential to stay positive while you wait for a decision from your hearing. Once the judge decides on the case, the Social Security Administration will get a decision letter, and they will then get a signature from the judge and mail it back to you.

If it seems like the decision is taking a long time, this is normal and not an indicator of whether the case will be approved or not. And if your claim is denied, this is not the end of the road, as approximately 70-percent of claims are initially denied. With the help of an attorney, many claims are ultimately approved through the appeals process.

If you have questions on applying for disability benefits or need to appeal a denied claim, contact Tabak Law at 800-245-1430 or fill out this form.

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