The first thing I want to know when I receive a hearing notice for a Social Security disability claim is the name of the administrative law judge (ALJ) who will hear the case and decide the claim. It probably shouldn’t matter which judge hears your case, since they all interpret the same rules and would be looking at the same facts. But it really does matter.
Each judge approaches a claim a little bit differently, and it is very helpful to know how a particular judge tends to look at a case. Also, each judge conducts the hearing in a particular way, so I prepare for the hearing in a way tailored to the ALJ who will hear the case.
I handle disability and SSI cases in Maine, New Hampshire, and Massachusetts, so I see the same judges again and again. They know what to expect from me, and I have learned what to expect from them.
Now, you do not get to pick the judge that decides your case. However, you do get to pick the lawyer who handles your case. It is important, in my opinion, to obtain the assistance of a Social Security disability lawyer who has experience with the judges in your area.