How Can I Prepare for My Social Security Disability Hearing?
Sept. 18, 2021
Social Security Disability Insurance (SSDI) is paid for by Social Security taxes. The program was designed to provide benefits to workers who become disabled and for their dependents. However, eligibility is different from that afforded by a private plan. Additionally, the definition of a disability is very strict under the terms of the Social Security Act. Despite this, 9 million people are currently receiving Social Security disability benefits.
At Powers Law, LLC, our experience with Social Security Disability (SSD) gives us an advantage in understanding the rules, gathering the necessary evidence, and helping you get the money you’re owed under the Social Security Act.
Our team is committed to treating you as an individual with unique needs, and will give you the personalized attention you deserve as you prepare for your Social Security Disability hearing. Contact Powers Law, LLC today or through our website for a free, no-obligation consultation. We will review your case and discuss your best options with you.
Social Security Disability Hearing Process
If you have gone through the application process for Social Security Disability Insurance and were rejected, you have the right to appeal the decision. If the appeal was reconsidered and again denied, you have the right to a hearing before an administrative law judge.
The hearing process may be lengthy. After receiving a reconsideration, you have 60 days to file a request for a hearing in writing. If you miss the deadline, your appeal may be dismissed. You may be contacted for additional information or documentation before the hearing. At least 75 days before the scheduled hearing, you will get a notice about the date and time. You have the option of waiving the 75-day advance notice, which means your hearing may be scheduled more quickly.
The Social Security Administration does not require you to have a representative but recommends that if you want an attorney with you during the hearing, you should appoint one as soon as possible. Your attorney can then review your file, prepare your documentation, and help you understand the process.
How Can I Prepare for My Hearing?
There are several steps to take as you prepare for the SSDI hearing before an administrative law judge. Because the process often takes a long time, it is important to be patient and not give up.
Understand Your Claim
Spend time reviewing the documentation that you will present to the judge. Be sure you have copies of your application and any documentation you received from the Social Security Administration. You know better than anyone else how your disability affects your everyday life and your ability to work. However, you may find that establishing those facts to a judge is challenging, so it’s best to review your evidence at length.
Gather Medical Records and Expert Opinions
If your initial claim was denied, the administrative law judge will ask for compelling new evidence before approving your case. It’s important to gather your relevant medical records from your physician or specialists, in order to document your disability claims. Medical experts, family members, former employers, psychologists, and vocational experts can provide documentary evidence or may testify on your behalf.
You can expect the hearing to last approximately one hour, and that there will be other people in the room. In addition to your experts, the judge may bring outside experts to help them render a decision. Consider requesting to bring a spouse or family member with you for support. However, it is up to the judge as to whether they are allowed in the hearing.
After the Hearing
It may take two to three months to get a decision from the court. Frequently, a decision is not released immediately following the hearing. The administrative law judge is required to send you the decision in writing. This can take up to 90 days. However, the judge may also issue a “bench decision.” This means you will hear the decision at the hearing. Even in this case, it may take up to 90 days to get the written decision.
How a Social Security Disability Lawyer Could Help
Although the Social Security Administration does not require you to have an attorney present, having a representative can help ensure that your rights are protected. Unfortunately, many SSD applications are initially denied. When you hire a Social Security Disability attorney, you have the assurance that your application and documentation for an administrative hearing will be reviewed by an experienced professional.
Contact the team at Powers Law, LLC for a free initial free consultation, during which you may discuss your case with a compassionate South Carolina Social Security Disability attorney. Some regulations limit how much lawyers can charge to help with Social Security Disability applications.
If you are permanently disabled and believe you may be eligible for SSDI benefits, we can discuss your legal rights, explain your options, and provide skilled legal representation to maximize your chances of getting the benefits you need. Call or contact us online, to get started today.