8. What happens at the hearing?

Generally, you, your attorney (if you hire one), the federal administrative law judge, a vocational or job expert and someone recording the testimony will be present at your hearing.  At the hearing, you will be placed under oath and asked questions about your work history, medical conditions, medications and limitations by the judge and/or your attorney.  The hearings are typically brief (30-45 minutes) and less formal than most claimants probably assume.  Although your medical records are of primary importance, the hearing is your opportunity to tell your story and explain why you are unable to work.  Depending on your location, the judge may appear via video, but the hearing process will be the same.