Do I have to go to a hearing?
It depends. Initially, an application is reviewed by Colorado’s Disability Determination Services. The next stage is an appeal called a request for reconsideration. If you win at either of these stages, a hearing is unnecessary. However, if your claim is denied and an appeal to an Administrative Law Judge is filed, a hearing is required. Attending a hearing is helpful and can increase your chances of winning. It is an opportunity to explain why you can’t work, any inconsistencies in the file, and to express any hardship endured. Appeals to the Appeals Council and to the Federal Court do not require a hearing.