When a Social Security Disability applicant submits a claim for Social Security Disability Insurance or Supplemental Security Income, chances are more likely than not that the claim will be denied during the initial stage of the application process. This then results in the need for a disability appeal. The fact is that nearly 70 percent of disability cases are denied during the initial application stage, which is part of the reason for the significant backlog of current Social Security Disability appeals in the Social Security system.
In most cases, a Social Security Disability appeal consists of a request for reconsideration and a hearing before an Administrative Law Judge. In most cases, an applicant will appear before the judge in order to conduct the hearing. In some instances, however, a Social Security Disability applicant may not want to appear before the ALJ and may want the judge to decide the case based on the evidence that is on record. In such cases, the applicant must use SSA Form HA 4608 to file such a request.
When an applicant files for a request for reconsideration and that request is denied, they have 60 days to request that an ALJ make a ruling on their case. If you want the ALJ to make a ruling based on the evidence that is already on file and not via an actual disability hearing, then you must submit SSA Form HA 4608 to the Social Security Administration within 60 days of being notified of the outcome of your Request for Reconsideration appeal.
It is important to note that you can change your mind once you file Form HA 4608 and have your case heard in front of the ALJ, but you can only do so prior to being notified of the outcome of the decision that the judge has made.