Generally, five individuals are present at a social security disability hearing. The first person is you, the claimant. This is your claim and the hearing is your opportunity to explain to the judge why you feel you are entitled to benefits. The second person is your representative, if you have retained one.
The third person is the judge. The judge is, ultimately, who will be making the decision in your claim. He or she, by the time of the hearing, will have reviewed the medical records in your file and will then take your testimony at hearing. They will then consider both the medical evidence and your testimony when deciding your case.
The fourth person is the hearing assistant or hearing monitor. This person functions like a court reporter. They take notes during the hearing, assist the judge if needed, and keep an audio recording of the hearing. They do not have any say or decision-making abilities in your claim.
Finally, the fifth person present at a hearing is a vocational expert. No need to worry that a vocational expert has been called in your claim, as one is called in on every adult disability case. They are an independent third party who testifies regarding your past work and other work that may be available in the local and national economies.
This is not an exhaustive list as to who will or can be present at a hearing. In some cases, additional witnesses or even medical experts are also asked to appear.
If you have any questions regarding your social security claim, our experienced staff stands by ready to assist you at any point during the Social Security process.