What to wear to a hearing in front of a Social Security Administrative Law Judge? A blog entry on fashion? I always try to discuss what clothing to wear with my clients prior to their hearing. Invariably they bring it up during our pre-hearing meeting. It is important topic because the hearing is the only time that a Judge will see the claimant in person (or on video). The Judge will be making a determination about the claimant’s credibility and to some extent, that decision is subjective in nature.
An Administrative hearing is not as formal as a hearing in a federal district court, but it is a tribunal nonetheless. I believe it is important to dress in proper attire that shows respect to the Judge. It is not necessary to wear a suit and tie, but it is not acceptable to go in wearing jeans with holes and a t-shirt. A claimant should dress comfortably in clothes that show a neat appearance. This does not diminish a claimant’s claim that he or she is disabled. It shows that the claimant cares about the hearing and knows that a Judge will be making an important decision about them.