What to Expect During the Hearing
Appealing Your Denial for Social Security Disability Benefits
There are many individuals who are
denied Social Security Disability (SSD) benefits even when they have qualifying disabilities. Those who believe that they
were unfairly denied can
appeal the U.S. Social Security Administration's (SSA) decision. The hearing
is an important part of that process that allows the claimant to have
the decision reviewed by an administrative law judge. Individuals who
contest denials for
Supplemental Security Income (SSI) benefits can also use the hearing process.
By having a Social Security disability lawyer, you can ensure that you
are fully prepared and have the tools you need to effectively advocate
for your disability claim. Our attorneys at
The Zendeh Del Law Firm, PLLC have extensive professional knowledge in the areas of
Social Security Disability and the SSD appeals process. Let us help you!
When & How the Hearing Occurs
The first step of an appeals process is the reconsideration phase or a
re-evaluation of an applicant's SSD claim (with any new evidence)
by a new party. When the reconsideration has been completed and the claim
is still denied, the claimant has the option of requesting a hearing with
the SSA's Office of Disability Adjudication and Review (ODAR) to contest
the second denial. The hearing generally occurs within 75 miles of the
claimant's residence, though it is sometimes possible to conduct the
hearing through videoconference. It is required that the administrative
law judge is someone who was not involved in the initial SSD decision
or the reconsideration process.
Prior to your hearing, you could be required to either provide clarification
concerning your SSD claim or provide additional information. Once the
hearing begins, you will need to be fully prepared to answer questions
asked by the judge, such as questions about your medical condition and
ability to work. If you bring any witnesses to help prove your eligibility
for benefits, they will also be questioned. You or and your lawyer will
also have the opportunity to question other witnesses that the judge asks
to speak at your hearing, such as medical experts or vocational experts.
The judge then uses the information that was presented to come to a decision,
which is usually sent to the claimant within 30 days of the hearing. Those
whose SSD claims are again denied even after a hearing can request a review
by the Social Security's Appeals Council.
Preparing for Your Hearing
When preparing for a SSD hearing, there are a few things to consider. You
should compile all of your disability medical records and pull together
any additional supporting documentation or evidence from your healthcare
providers to help support your argument on appeal. These documents would
have been given to the SSA office when you initially applied for your
SSI benefits. Contact your local SSA office to get a copy of these records
if you do not have them in your possession. Always have documentary evidence
to address any gaps of time in your medical history.
Gather Your Medical Records
If you had surgery and did not work while you were recovering, request
documentation from your medical provider that proves you were disabled
during that period. If you have any future medical appointments scheduled,
make sure that you bring a copy of all documentation which shows the dates
of those upcoming medical appointments.
Collect written letters from your medical providers detailing the nature
of your disability and how it affects your ability to earn an income.
Finally make three copies of your entire package of documents so that
you can give one to the judge and your attorney.
Why Work With a Dallas Social Security Disability Attorney?
You are not required to have an attorney represent you. You should be aware,
however, that having the proper legal counsel can give you a considerable
advantage in proving your eligibility for SSD benefits. This is because,
unlike you, your lawyer will have professional training in how to effectively
handle cases before judges, present evidence and cross-examine witnesses.
A strong attorney will be able to help you do all of the necessary planning
before the hearing occurs, such as requesting the actual hearing, helping
you collect medical records and other supporting documents, as well as
helping you and your witnesses prepare for the questions you will likely be asked.
This is exactly what we do at The Zendeh Del Law Firm, PLLC.
Don't let an initial denial for SSD benefits stop you from pursuing
the financial assistance you know you deserve. We fight aggressively on
our clients' behalf, advocating for their best interests. The sooner you
contact us, the sooner we can help you begin preparing for your hearing for SSD benefits!
We serve the Dallas area, as well as many other parts of Texas.