Free Consultation



What OHA does
The Office of Hearings and Appeals (OHA) administer the hearings and appeals program for the Social Security Administration (SSA).Administrative Law Judges (ALJs) conduct hearings and issue decisions. The Defense Office of Hearing and Appeal Council considers appeals from hearing decisions, and acts as the final level of administrative review for the Social Security Administration. You have the right to appeal any decision Social Security makes on whether you are entitled to Social Security benefits or are eligible for Supplemental Security Income (SSI) payments. If we determine that you no longer meet the requirements for Social Security or SSI or find that you are overpaid, you have the right to request review of decision.

When you are denied for benefits at the initial levels, the hearing process for reconsideration begins. A hearing before Administrative Law Judge will likewise subsequently follow. This judge will be the one to make an independent decision based on the evidence presented, including your testimony at the hearing. It is still advised to have a representative such as attorney who can help you deal with your business about Social Security.

The first step in the appeals process is called a reconsideration determination. You will receive a new decision by someone who had no part in the first decision. We will send you a letter explaining how we made the decision. If you disagree with this decision; you have the right to a hearing before an Administrative Law Judge (ALJ). If you disagree with the decision of the ALJ, you may file a Council. Before the hearing: Your representative, if you have one, may look at the evidence in your case file and submit new evidence. It is very important that you submit as soon as possible any additional evidence you want the Administrative Law Judge to consider. If you do not have it when you request a hearing, send it to the Administrative Law Judge as soon as you can. At the hearing: The Administrative Law Judge explains the issues in your case and may question you and any witnesses you bring to the hearing. The Administrative Law Judge may ask other witnesses, such as a doctor or vocational expert, to come to the hearing. You and the witnesses answer questions under oath. The hearing is informal but is recorded. You and your representative, if you have one, may question any witnesses and submit evidence. After the hearing: The Administrative Law Judge issues a written decision after studying all the evidence. The Administrative Law Judge sends you and your representative a copy of the decision or dismissal order.

The Office of Hearing and Appeal Social Security Council review process generally begins after an application for benefits has been denied at the initial, reconsideration, and hearing levels. If you disagree with the decision of the Administrative Law Judge, you may file a request for review with the Appeals Council. You must request review in writing, within 60 days of receiving the hearing decision. In general, you have 60 days after you receive the notice of our decision to ask for any type of appeal. In counting the 60 days, we presume that you receive the notice five days after we mail it unless you can show that you received it later. If you do not appeal on time, the Administrative Appeals Judge may dismiss your appeal. This means that you may not be eligible for the next step in the appeal process and that you may also lose your right to any further review. You must have a good reason if you wait more than 60 days to request an appeal. If you file an appeal after the deadline, you must explain the reason you are late and request that we extend the time limit. The people in Social Security Administration local offices can explain further and help you file a written request to extend the time limit.
List of Cities and Counties in California