- Level 1: Apply for reconsideration
- Level 2: Apply for an independent reviewer
- Level 3: Apply for an Appeals Council hearing
- Level 4: Apply for an administrative law judge hearing
- Level 5: Apply to the Federal Court for hearing
If your Level 1, Level 2 and Level 3 appeals were denied and you are not happy with the decision you can request a hearing from an administrative law judge by filing and submitting out the HA-501 form to the SSA.
How to fill out form HA-501 for ALJ hearing
Your hearing before the local or nearest administrative law judge is your best option to get your reconsideration application approved successfully for continuing disability benefits. It is the chance where you can actually talk to a law person and explain them how and why you should not be denied your disability benefits. Apart from providing the supporting documents.You would also be able to explain your case face-to-face whether through a video call or standing in front of the ALJ as to why you are still not able to perform substantial gainful activity, SGA.
Here are some tips to fill out the form HA-501 correctly for increasing your chances of being accepted for a hearing:
- 1.Claimant: This is where the name of the disabled person goes. You should fill out the full name properly. If you are filing the application for someone else, you would enter their name in the field.
- 2.Wage earner: If you or the claimant in question were receiving benefits through someone else's social security records than their own, such as a spouse or a parent, then you need to enter their name in this field.
- 3.Social Security Card Number: This is the unique social security claimant number stated specifically on the social security card. It will also contain a suffix that you can find in the prior correspondence documents with the Social Security Administration.
- 4.Spouse's Claim Number: If you are filing for a reconsideration for SSI or SSDI and are married, then you need to enter the unique claimant number for your spouse's social security, even if they never received the benefits on it.
- 5.Request a hearing: This 'I request a hearing' section is where you can explain your case in detail. You can state the reasons why you do not agree with the prior level's decisions or why you think your benefits were denied unfairly. It is imperative that you attach all the supporting documents such as your medical records, physician statements, physiotherapist statements and any other that may provide proof that you are unable to perform activity for sufficient work hours (substantial gainful activity). Although you can fill out the complete form by yourself, having a professional disability attorney guide you specifically for this step of the application may be critical to its success.
- 6.Additional evidence: You should include all the other evidence that you didn't attach in the above section. Evidence that would make your case stronger such as inability to drive to work on in case of Alzheimer's inability to remember things or having insufficient mental competence to perform substantial gainful activity. Again a professional social security attorney would be your best guide in determining all the evidence you could provide in the best way.
- 7.Presence at hearing: It is imperative that you make yourself available at the given time and date of the hearing. If you miss the hearing due to an accident or some unforeseen circumstances you still need to inform the SSA of the reasons of missing out on the hearing with proof as soon as you can.