Do I have to go to a hearing?
It depends. Initially, your application is reviewed by Colorado’s Disability Determination Services and a hearing is not necessary. At the next stage, which is an appeal to the Administrative Law Judge, most claimants do appear before a Judge. Being at the hearing is helpful to your claim and can increase your chances of winning. It is your opportunity to tell a Judge why you can’t work, to explain any inconsistencies in the file, and to express the hardship you’ve endured. Appeals to the Appeals Council and to the Federal Court do not require your presence.