Posted on: 4 December 2019
As you have probably heard, being approved for Social Security Disability Insurance (SSDI) almost never happens without an appeal hearing. This hearing takes place once you have applied and been turned down, and its importance cannot be overestimated. For some tips on what this hearing involves and how to get approved as a result of it, read on.
There's a Deadline – Applicants who are turned down for benefits only have a matter of weeks to request an appeal. The best way to avoid losing your chance is to talk to a Social Security lawyer about representing you at the hearing.
Representation Costs Can Be Postponed – You may believe that you are in no financial shape to afford an attorney, but you can be paid later from your back pay. Ask your Social Security lawyer about a contingency fee agreement.
Don't Be Intimidated – These appeal hearings are presided over by administrative law judges and are usually not held in a courtroom setting. When it's your turn in front of the judge, the only people present are the judge, your lawyer, and a vocational expert. It's best to leave children in the care of others, but you can bring along a family member for support if you like.
Preparation Is Key – Review your Social Security application, your medical records, and other information you have about your medical condition. The judge will be focusing on your condition and why you cannot work at your most recent job. Pay special attention to the reason why your initial claim was denied. Speak with your Social Security lawyer about proving your need for benefits.
Work With Your Attorney – Be ready to answer questions not only from the judge but also from the vocational expert and your lawyer. You will know ahead of time what your lawyer will ask, and your lawyer has the opportunity to also question or cross-examine the vocational expert. Vocational experts are good at understanding the skills of jobs but are not medical experts. Your lawyer can challenge their observations of the way your condition inhibits work tasks.
After the Appeal Hearing – Most applicants must wait for several weeks to find out the judge's ruling, though some do get an idea of their success at the end of the hearing. An official letter should arrive within about 30 days.
Knowing that you have another chance to be approved for benefits can help you cope, and having an attorney to help you can be even better. Speak to a Social Security attorney for disability if you have questions.Share