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Home » Glossary » Administrative Law Judge

Definition of Administrative Law Judge

An Administrative Law Judge or ALJ is the court official at the Administrative hearing who is responsible for evaluating the Social Security Disability Insurance (SSDI) or Supplemental Security Income (SSI) disability case and determining if the claimant meets the disability qualifications which are outlined in the guidelines established by the Social Security Administration (SSA).

The Administrative Law Judge will hear the SSDI and SSI case only after the case has been denied at the application and reconsideration level (in most states). If the claimant's SSDI or SSI application is denied a second time, they can request a hearing before the judge. Administrative hearings allow the claimant to present testimony about their SSI or SSDI case. A job's expert and a medical expert may also be asked to attend the hearing to assist the judge in their decision. After all evidence is submitted to the court, the judge will make a disability determination for the claimant.

The Administrative Law Judge is an employee of the Social Security Administration, specifically the Office of Disability Adjudication and Review (ODAR). The United States is divided into regions and judges within specific regions may be asked to travel to different locations to hear cases. If you have a hearing before an administrative law judge you should consult with a disability lawyer. Most likely you have waited months or years to have someone review your case, and the administrative hearing before an administrative law judge will be your best chance to win SSDI or SSI benefits from the Social Security Administration.

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