Preparing for your Social Security Disability Hearing

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by Editorial Board on October 25, 2010 · 0 comments

in Winning Disability Benefits,Social Security Hearings,Legal Concepts in SSD

A Social Security disability hearing can be an intimidating process if you are not familiar with Social Security’s rules and regulations.  If your case gets to a hearing before an Administrative Law Judge (“ALJ”), it is best for you to hire an attorney well versed in hearing procedures to represent you in your claim.

Aside from hiring an attorney, the next best preparation is to gather medical evidence for yourself.  Write your health care providers to obtain all your medical records so that the ALJ will have a clear picture of your condition.  Any letters or forms that your treating physicians, specialists, or counselors write on your behalf regarding the severity and functional limitations of your impairment will help your claim to be approved.  There may be a medical expert present at the hearing, but this is not always true and the expert may not help prove your claim.

It is also important to gather a history of your jobs within the last fifteen years along with a detailed description of your job duties.  There may also be a vocational expert in the hearing and any assistance you can offer this expert in classifying your previous work will help your claim, as long as you can show that you can no longer perform the work you used to do.

After conducting the hearing, the ALJ will review all the evidence, including your testimony, and will issue a decision within a matter of months.  Without a representative, the hearing can be very stressful and can leave you feeling as though you didn’t have a say in presenting your claim.  Again, it is recommended that you hire an attorney to work to present your claim and to answer any questions you have before, during and after the hearing.

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