Social Security Hearings and The Exhibit List

by Editorial Board on April 21, 2011 · 0 comments

in Social Security Hearings,Appealing a SS Decision

By the time you arrive at your Social Security hearing there has been considerable amount of behind-the-scenes development of your case and your file in particular. Along the way, all the major documents that are important to your case will come to comprise what is known as your hearing file. Your Social Security file contains a large amount of information that tracks the development of your case from the initial application phase all the way through the hearing phase. Each individual record that is contained in the file is known as an exhibit. Some of the key exhibits will be your initial application, prior decision notices which outline the specific reasons why your application has been denied and, most importantly, all of your medical records. Each exhibit is given a number that identifies that specific exhibit in the records instead of referring to it by its name or content.

The way in which the large number of exhibits are managed and kept organized is through the exhibit list. The exhibit list functions exactly as its name implies—it lists all of the exhibits contained in the file, serving essentially the same function as a table of contents that guides the reader through navigating a large amount of information and locating a particular record with ease. When you go to a hearing you will hear exhibits being referenced from this list.

If you receive an unfavorable decision, be sure to go through the exhibit list carefully.  If you submitted evidence that was not included in your file, you will want to submit it to the Appeals Council, and argue that the Administrative Law Judge made a mistake by failing to consider it.  If there is no exhibit list attached to the unfavorable decision, that can be a basis for having your case sent back for another hearing.

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