Hearings are conducted by an ALJ in the Office of Hearings Operations (OHO). In the
larger cities they conduct hearings in their own offices; in other cities, they hold
hearings in the proximity of claimant’s residences. ALJs decide matters of fact and
law in accordance with the Social Security Act, Administrative Procedure Act (APA),
Social Security Administration (SSA) Regulations, Social Security Rulings, and other
SSA policy pronouncements. An ALJ's hearings and decisions should be in accordance
with the Social Security Act.
A claimant may ask to appear at a hearing, to present witnesses at a hearing, to submit
additional evidence, or to request that an ALJ review the evidence of record plus
any supplemental evidence the claimant may submit. Before a hearing an ALJ must allow
the claimant or the claimant’s authorized representative sufficient time in which
to prepare his or her case and the opportunity to examine the evidence in the case.
Any requests for access to the evidence which the Disability Determination Services
(DDS) receives from the claimant or claimant’s representative should be referred to
During the hearing the claimant will have the opportunity to examine the documents
introduced into evidence, may object to the introduction of any evidence, and may
present additional written evidence or oral testimony. The claimant and witnesses
must give hearing testimony under oath. A verbatim record is made of the testimony
received at a hearing.