At Disability Advocates Group, we understand that navigating the Social Security Disability Insurance (SSDI) and Supplemental Security Income (SSI) process can be overwhelming, especially when your initial claim is denied. If you’re in Tampa and facing a disability hearing, we’re here to guide you through every step.

When Is a Disability Hearing Necessary?

A hearing becomes necessary when:

  1. Your initial application is denied
  2. Your Request for Reconsideration is also denied

At this point, you have the right to request a hearing before an Administrative Law Judge (ALJ).

Requesting an SSDI or SSI Hearing

To request a hearing:

  1. File a Request for Hearing by Administrative Law Judge (Form HA-501)
  2. Submit it within 60 days of receiving your denial notice
  3. You can file online, by mail, or in person at your local Social Security office

Wait Times for Disability Hearings in Tampa

As of 2023, the average wait time from request to hearing in Tampa is approximately 10-12 months. However, this can vary based on case complexity and current backlog.

Hearing Locations in Tampa

In-person hearings are typically held at: Tampa Office of Hearings Operations: 4925 Independence Parkway, Suite 200 Tampa, FL 33634

Online Hearing Option: Due to the COVID-19 pandemic, the Social Security Administration now offers the option of online video hearings. This allows you to attend your hearing from the comfort and safety of your home.

What Happens at a Disability Hearing?

Attendees:

  • You (the claimant)
  • Your representative (if you have one)
  • The Administrative Law Judge (ALJ)
  • A hearing reporter
  • Potentially, medical and/or vocational experts

Process:

  1. The ALJ will explain the issues in your case
  2. You’ll be asked to take an oath to tell the truth
  3. The ALJ will ask you questions about your disability, work history, and daily activities
  4. Your representative can ask you additional questions
  5. If present, the ALJ may question medical or vocational experts
  6. Your representative can cross-examine these experts

Hearings typically last 45-60 minutes.

Options After Losing a Disability Hearing

If your claim is denied at the hearing level, you can:

  1. Request a review by the Appeals Council
  2. File a new disability claim
  3. File a civil action in Federal District Court

The Importance of Legal Representation

Having a skilled disability attorney at your hearing can significantly improve your chances of success. At Disability Advocates Group, we:

  • Gather and submit relevant medical evidence
  • Prepare you for questioning
  • Cross-examine experts effectively
  • Present a compelling case to the ALJ

Studies show that claimants represented by attorneys are more likely to be approved for benefits than those without representation.

Let Disability Advocates Group Help You

Navigating a disability hearing in Tampa can be complex, but you don’t have to do it alone. Our experienced attorneys understand the local process and are committed to fighting for your rights. Contact us today for a free consultation and let us help you secure the benefits you deserve.

Remember, your future may depend on the outcome of this hearing. Don’t leave it to chance – trust the attorneys at Disability Advocates Group to guide you through every step of the process.