Not affiliated with the US Social Security Administration

Hearing by an Administrative Law Judge (ALJ)

Excerpted from "Social Security Handbook". See the up-to-date, official Social Security Handbook at

2007. Hearing by an Administrative Law Judge (ALJ)

2007.1 When can a claimant request a hearing before an ALJ?

A hearing before an ALJ may be requested if:

  1. You disagree with the reconsidered determination;

  2. You show in writing that your rights may be adversely affected by the decision; or

  3. We have made a reconsidered determination or another type of determination that provides the right to a hearing before an ALJ. These are listed in SSA's regulations.

2007.2 When must the request be made?

You must make a request for a hearing in writing within 60 days after you receive the notice of the determination. (See §2000, §2001, and §2015.)

2007.3 What are the procedures at the hearing?

At the hearing you may:

  1. Appear in person or by video teleconference;

  2. Testify under oath or affirmation;

  3. Submit new evidence;

  4. Examine the evidence used in making the determination under review; and

  5. Present and question witnesses. (See §2011.)

2007.4 What happens if a claimant waives the right to an oral hearing?

If you waive the right to an oral hearing, the ALJ will ordinarily make a decision based on the evidence already submitted and any additional evidence that you or any other party presented.

2007.5 What is the basis for the ALJ's decision?

The ALJ makes a decision on the basis of:

  1. The evidence already submitted;

  2. Any additional evidence you present;

  3. Evidence that is otherwise obtained; and

  4. Any testimony given at the hearing.

Last Revised: Aug. 6, 2007


Recent Content

Seven Social Security Myths

1. Social Security will cover my income needs

2. It's better to take Social Security benefits early

3. I'll receive full benefits at 65

4. Once I start benefits, I can’t work anymore

5. I won't pay taxes on Social Security

6. Once I start Social Security, I have to continue receiving it

7. My divorce will reduce my benefits

Common Mistakes About Social Security

A recent poll found about half of respondents made mistakes on the following :

1. Retirement benefits will not be reduced if I claim at age 65 => FALSE. Full retirement age is rising.

2. A spouse can receive Social Security even if they have no earnings history => TRUE

3. If my spouse dies, that will have no effect on my Social Security payment => FALSE

4. Social Security benefits depend only on my earnings history, not when I claim => FALSE

Four Common Social Security Claiming Mistakes

1. Not knowing your full retirement age (FRA). 'Full benefit' retirement age is rising beyond age 65 to age 67.

2. Not knowing you can file for benefits three months in advance of receiving income

3. Forgetting Social Security benefits can be subject to income tax.

4. Thinking early filers can later receive 'full benefits'. If filing early, your benefits are permanently reduced.

Sponsored Links


Not affiliated with the US Social Security Administration