This is the person who decides your case at the hearing level. The job of the ALJ is to follow a five step sequential process and to apply the law to your claim for the evaluation of disability.
It is at this level of appeal with the ALJ that you can tell your story directly to the person assigned to decide your claim. This is a very important level because until this time, your case has been decided solely upon your medical records with no face-to-face contact with the person making the decisions. It is almost always beneficial to the claim for the ALJ to meet the claimant. The ALJ has the ultimate discretion to judge the claimant’s credibility and to ask any questions that might exist regarding work history, treatment and any other matters that are not well explained by simply reviewing black and white medical records.
Being honest and presenting your case accurately to the ALJ at a hearing is the end result of hard work and diligence in pursuing the appeals and building your medical evidence of record throughout the entire disability process.