If your claim for Social Security Disability is denied, you have the option to appeal your claim. At some point in the appeal process in Georgia, you may have to bring your case before an Administrative Law Judge (ALJ). An ALJ presides over a hearing that could determine whether your case for disability has merit and if you are eligible to receive disability income.

The Social Security Administration website explains that a hearing before an ALJ is conducted after an application for Social Security benefits has been denied. In many states, you would have to go through reconsideration, which is appealing your denial by having a different Social Security official examine your case. If you are still denied benefits in reconsideration, the next step is to request a hearing.

An ALJ is an official that acts much like a judge in a courtroom. Once your request for a hearing is granted, you will appear before an ALJ and present evidence that you are eligible for disability. The ALJ will listen to whatever evidence you present, including testimony from witnesses or from yourself on your present health condition. The ALJ might also ask questions of the witnesses or question you.

Once all the evidence has been presented and examined, the ALJ will issue a written decision. The decision may approve you for benefits or dismiss your case. However, the ALJ rules, you and your attorney, if you have representation, will receive a copy of the decision. However, even a dismissal by an ALJ is not the final word. You may choose to request a review from the Appeals Council. The council may decide the ALJ was correct, or it might decide to send the case back to an ALJ to review it further.

The information presented in this article is not legal advice. Disability cases vary by individual, so only read this article for educational benefit.