What To Expect At A Social Security Disability Hearing

by | Apr 10, 2015 | Lawyers

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It is estimated that about three quarters of the applications that are made for Social Security disability benefits are denied. Although this is disappointing for the applicant, it is not the end of the line; there are three definitive appeal steps that are available to the applicant. The first appeal is simply to write back to the Social Security Administration and ask them to reconsider their decision. In the majority of cases the applicant will by now have hired a Social Security lawyer in Livonia to help prepare the letter and any additional submissions. In the event this appeal is also denied the next step is to appear in front of an administrative judge.

A Social Security disability hearing is the second step available to an applicant who has had their initial appeal denied. Although the hearing is usually quite short; perhaps little more than 15 minutes, it can take as many as 15 months for it to happen. Most applicants hear the word “hearing” and they assume it will be similar to a court appearance, it is not; a Social Security hearing is quite brief and informal.

Even though the judge may wear his or her traditional black robe you do not have to even dress formally for the hearing. Depending on the physical distance between the hearing office and the home of the applicant the hearing may be moved to a convenient conference room in a local hotel or bank. Although it is advisable to attend the hearing in person the hearing can be held using teleconferencing facilities.

You and your Social Security attorney in Livonia will attend the hearing. Both parties have the right to invite a vocational expert as well as a medical expert. If you have any witnesses that can attest to your disability they are welcome to be called as well. All the proceedings are recorded by a court reporter. Once you have been sworn in by the reporter the judge can begin asking questions about your past work and what limitations you have. The judge will often ask you hypothetical questions about what work you think you are capable of doing based on your disability, skills and education level.

The judge will ask you to speak, at which time you can describe to the judge how your physical or mental limitations prevent you from earning a living.

As this may be your only chance for a hearing in the presence of an employee of Social Security make sure you arrive on time.