The Ramifications of Failing to Appear for Social Security Disability Hearing

  1. Social Security
  2. The Ramifications of Failing to Appear for Social Security Disability Hearing

For individuals seeking disability benefits, one crucial step in the process is attending the disability hearing. Unfortunately, missing this important appointment can have significant consequences. In this blog post, we’ll delve into the repercussions of failing to appear for your Social Security Disability (SSD) hearing.

Understanding the Importance of the Hearing

The Social Security Disability hearing is a critical step in the SSD application process. It provides applicants with the opportunity to present their case before an administrative law judge (ALJ) and provide additional evidence to support their claim of being disabled. This hearing is often the final chance for applicants to plead their case before a decision is made regarding their eligibility for disability benefits.

12-month calendar

SSD applicants must remember it is mandatory that you appear (whether in person, by phone, or by video) for your scheduled SSD hearing. You may be thinking, “Well, duh! Of course, I must attend.” Sometimes, situations can come up that are out of your control, such as your phone having no service, your vehicle breaking down, or even a medical situation. If this occurs and you are unable to attend your hearing, you should contact your attorney immediately. A judge has the right to dismiss your case if you fail to appear, however, the judge must first develop whether there is “good cause” for failure to appear before dismissing.


What constitutes “good cause?”

When considering what is “good cause” for missing a hearing, the judge will issue “A Notice to Show Cause” which requires you to respond and explain why you missed your scheduled hearing. It provides an opportunity to explain yourself and the reason that kept you from attending your hearing. If you are represented, your attorney will more than likely write a letter responding to the Notice to Show Cause explaining why you were unable to attend the hearing. Typically, you will have 10 days from the date on the Notice to Show Cause to complete and return it. There is no set of criteria for determining what is considered good cause for failing to appear at your hearing. However, good cause may be established if you experienced an unforeseeable or unavoidable event or if you did not receive proper notification of the hearing.

As we discussed, if you fail to appear at your hearing, your case may be dismissed. There are other consequences for failing to appear at your hearing, including:

  1. A delay in receiving your SSD benefits: Failing to appear for your SSD hearing can result in a significant delay in receiving disability benefits if your case is dismissed. Restarting the application process can take months or even years, further prolonging the time it takes to receive much-needed financial assistance.
  2. Missed opportunity to provide additional evidence: The disability hearing is your chance to provide more evidence and testimony to support your claim for disability benefits. Failing to appear means missing out on this crucial opportunity to strengthen your case and provide the ALJ with more information to consider when deciding whether to award disability benefits.
  3. Wasted time and resources: Not appearing for your SSD hearing impacts your own case, but it also wastes the time and resources of the Social Security Administration (SSA) and the ALJ. Scheduling hearings involves careful coordination and resources, and missing your appointment can disrupt the process for others as well.


What to Do If You Can’t Attend

If you are unable to attend your scheduled SSD hearing, it’s essential to take action as soon as possible. Contact your attorney immediately to explain your circumstances and request a rescheduling of your hearing.

It’s crucial to attend your scheduled hearing. Prioritizing your hearing shows the judge that you understand the seriousness of this claim and that you realize its impact on your livelihood. Understanding this and making your claim a priority can increase your chances of a successful outcome in your SSD application process.



Why choose PLF for SSD representation?

When choosing representation for SSD benefits, you have options. However, choosing Parmele Law Firm is the smartest choice you can make. Our team of attorneys has over 135 years of combined Social Security disability experience. We have helped 55,000+ individuals receive their benefits. Lastly, we don’t get paid unless you receive your benefits. Your initial consultation is no-cost; call us at 866-889-2570. What do you have to lose?


Parmele Law Firm. Guiding you with integrity, competency, and experience.

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