Social Security Disability Law 101: Understanding the Practice and Process for Hearings

Level: Advanced
Runtime: 92 minutes
Recorded Date: January 16, 2020
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  • Understanding the different benefits offered under the Social Security Act
  • Understand how to apply for SSDI and SSI disability benefits
  • Understand the requirements for proving entitlement to disability benefits under Title II (SSDI) and Title XVI (SSI)
  • Understand the process of representing claimants, preparing for and handling a disability hearing
  • Understand the process for requesting pre- and post-hearing actions from the ALJ and/or appeal to the Appeals Council
Runtime: 1 hour, 32 minutes
Recorded: January 16, 2020


The cornerstone of our American social insurance system is the Social Security Act, which provides for a myriad of benefits or entitlements, including the Social Security retirement benefit and Social Security Disability and Supplemental Security Income benefits. Administering disputes concerning entitlement to these benefits is one of the largest unified adjudicatory bodies in the world, with its own rules, procedures and deadlines. Most adjudicated disputes involving Social Security benefits concern entitlement to SSD or SSI benefits.

This course offers an introduction to the statutory and regulatory requirements to qualify for benefits under these programs and the procedure involved in appealing any denial of benefits through the Appeals Council and the U.S. District Court. The program will help you understand the law and different benefits, understand the requirements for proving entitlement, how to prepare for and handle the hearing, and understand the process for requesting post-hearing actions.

This program was recorded on January 16th, 2020.

Provided By

American Bar Association


Hon. Henry Hamilton, III

Administrative Law Judge
U.S. Social Security Administration

Hon. Henry Hamilton III. Judge Hamilton, of Des Moines, Iowa, is an administrative law judge for the U.S. Social Security Administration.

Judge Hamilton held previous judicial offices as a magistrate in Polk County, Iowa, and as an administrative judge for the U.S. Equal Employment Opportunity Commission (EEOC). Judge Hamilton has been involved in bar and professional associations at the state, local, and national levels. He has served as the president of the Iowa National Bar Association, as a member of the board of governors for both the Iowa State Bar Association and the Polk County Bar Association, and a member of the Milwaukee Young Lawyers Association Board of Directors.

Judge Hamilton has been active with the ABA for more than 20 years. He started out in the ABA Young Lawyers Division (YLD) and has served on the Councils for the Government and Public Sector Lawyers Division and the Solo, Small Firm and General Practice Division. His involvement in the Division has included serving as chair of the Administrative Law Committee and as a member of the Nominations and Finance Committees. Judge Hamilton’s commitment to his profession is exemplified by his service on the Council of the National Conference of Administrative Law Judiciary and as the conference’s chair of the Sponsorships and Non-Dues Revenue Committee, as well as being active with the Iowa Association of Administrative Law Judges. He is a member of Blackstone and C. Edwin Moore American Inns of Court and the Wisconsin Association of African American Lawyers. Judge Hamilton has received the President’s Award from the National Bar Association, the National Association for the Advancement of Colored People’s Foot Soldier in the Sands National Award, Drake Law School’s American Jurisprudence Award, and the EEOC’s Chairwoman Award.

He received his juris doctor from Drake University School of Law and has been a licensed attorney since 1992.

Shirley Michaelson

Administrative Law Judge (Ret.)
U.S. Social Security Administration

Shirley Michaelson is a retired Social Security Adminstrative Law Judge. She has heard and adjudicated thousands of appeals from adult and child claimants challenging denials of disability benefits. She has also adjudicated challenges to overpayment determinations.

Shirley received her JD cum Laude from the University of Michigan Law School in 1974.

Paul R. Armstrong

Administrative Law Judge
U.S. Social Security Administration

Paul Armstrong is an attorney, author, and administrative law judge in Chicago, IL. A graduate of De Paul University in Chicago, IL, JD 1976, LLM. 2005, he served in private practice in trial and appellate matters, specializing in insurance, injury and health law for over 25 years. He has served as an Administrative Law Judge in the National Hearing Center of the Social Security Administration since 2009. He is the author of articles involving workers compensation, medical liens, health law, and disability policy

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