Our experienced disability attorneys offer some pro tips for a successful disability hearing.
If your initial Social Security Disability application and your request for reconsideration are denied, you have the right to appeal the decision in a hearing before an Administrative Law Judge. Though disability hearings are less formal than typical court hearings, they still need to be handled with care.
The single most important tip you should follow for a successful disability hearing is:
Hire a Social Security Disability attorney.
You are entitled to have a “representative” assist you at your disability hearing. For best results, don’t settle for an Advocate. Instead, make sure your representative is a skilled Social Security Disability attorney.
Perona, Langer, Beck and Harrison makes an excellent choice of attorney for your Social Security Disability hearing. We have extensive experience in this highly specialized area of disability law. We know what kinds of medical evidence and testimony should be presented to support your appeal, and we also know how to effectively cross-examine any vocational or medical who may be asked to evaluate your disability. You can rely on us to make sure you are fully prepared for your disability hearing so that you know what types of questions to expect and how to answer them clearly.
Here are some additional tips to help position you for a successful disability hearing:
- Be aware of deadlines: Generally, you will have 60 days from the time you are notified of a denied claim to request your disability hearing. If you miss the deadline you may lose your right to any further review of your claim.
- Consider a teleconference: Social Security Disability hearings may be held in person or via teleconference. The teleconference option typically allows your hearing to be scheduled much faster.
- Submit any new evidence early: If you have new or updated medical evidence regarding your disability, submit it as quickly as possible so that the judge will have ample time to review it. In some cases, new evidence may actually result in an early decision in your favor, preventing the need for a disability hearing.
- Never skip a hearing: Whenever possible, applicants should attend disability hearings. If you can’t make a hearing, reschedule it. Do not skip the hearing as this could result in your case being dismissed.
- Dress appropriately: Because disability hearings are not very formal, you don’t have to dress up for your appearance. But you should show respect by dressing appropriately—business casual would be fine.
- Stick to the symptoms: You will be asked questions about your disability and how it affects your prior job activities. When answering questions, don’t go into the medical definitions of your problem. This should already be in your file. Instead, focus on describing the symptoms or limitations imposed by your condition.
- Consider an OTR: If you have a strong case for SSD benefits, your attorney can write a legal letter brief requesting an “on the record decision.” This could result in the case being resolved in your favor without the need for a hearing.
- Don’t give up. Between 60 and 80 percent of SSD applicants win their hearings, so it is well worth your while to persevere through this stage of the process.
Need Help With a Disability Hearing?
To learn more about the benefits of having an attorney represent you at your disability hearing, contact Perona, Langer, Beck and Harrison at (800) 435-7542 for a free consultation.