What Happens at a Disability Hearing
Different reasons may push the Social Security Administration (SSA) to deny most of the disability benefits applications it receives.
So it’s likely that you may end up in a disability hearing to appeal your claim. If it happens, you must prepare yourself for the hearing to get the disability benefits you deserve without further legal procedures.
Knowing these details about what happens at the disability hearing will help you prepare accordingly.
What Leads You to a Disability Hearing
You may have to attend a disability hearing if the SSA denies your disability benefits claim twice. The first is on your initial application, and the second is when you file an appeal for reconsideration.
SSA may deny your application because of valid reasons like:
- Your condition does not satisfy the definition of a disability.
- The submitted medical information does not support your disability claim.
- Your application has some incorrect or insufficient information.
- Insufficient work credits for Social Security Disability Insurance (SSDI).
The SSA will send you a notice if it denies your application. The document will mention the denial reasons and your right to file a request for reconsideration within 60 days.
You can then file a request for reconsideration of your application. A second SSA consultant and disability examiner who were not involved with your initial claim will reevaluate your case.
It’s crucial to submit additional documents to support your claim in the reconsideration process for an SSA approval. However, the SSA may still reject your claim in the reconsideration process, which is when you can request a disability hearing.
What Happens in a Disability Hearing
A disability hearing is an informal proceeding that handles disability benefits claim denials.
An Administrative Law Judge (ALJ) will preside the disability hearing in a conference room. The judge will be someone who was not involved with the previous steps of your claim. And that’s vital to provide a fresh review of your case.
Moreover, a hearing assistant will record everything using audio recording devices.
The steps in a disability hearing are as follow:
- The judge, you, your lawyer, the expert witnesses, and the hearing assistant will introduce yourselves to each other.
- The judge will begin by stating the issues the hearing will cover. You and your lawyer can submit additional or updated documents at this point.
- The judge will give you enough time to tell your story and explanations to support your case. Next, your attorney will ask questions to you, and the judge should hear your answers.
- The judge and your attorney will then ask questions to the expert witnesses. The expert witnesses are SSA-provided medical and vocational professionals who will explain your situation.
- The judge will then conclude the hearing. You will receive the decision or results within four weeks or more after the proceeding.
It’s good to get your application approval at this point. However, you and your attorney can always file a case in federal court if you still receive a claim denial.
Preparing for a Disability Hearing
Now that you know what to expect in a disability hearing, these points will help you prepare:
- Hire a Social Security benefits attorney in Burbank. You may attend a disability hearing without legal counsel, but a lawyer will defend your case and help you gain fruitful outcomes.
- Collect new and updated documents to support your claim. Examples include a new diagnosis, updated medical report, and more witness statements. Your attorney can help compile these documents.
- Dress appropriately for the hearing. Respect the hearing by wearing decent clothes. However, avoid wearing fancy attire that may make you look undeserving for disability benefits.
Consult a Burbank Social Security Benefits Lawyer for Disability Hearing
A disability hearing is crucial for successfully claiming disability benefits. However, it can also result in another denial, which will lead you to further legal hassles.
So, hire a Social Security benefits attorney in Burbank to help you prepare and represent you in a disability hearing.