A Social Security disability hearing is your first step for reconsideration following application denial. That makes the hearing an important part of the process, especially for those whose applications may have been missing information or were misinterpreted during the initial review. If you want the best possible chance of success at your disability hearing, there are a few things that you need to consider.
Things you should consider before your hearing
Start by reviewing the denial letter that you received so that you understand the basis for that denial. You'll want to focus some of your preparation on addressing that specifically. It's often best if you review it with a Social Security disability attorney who can help you determine the best way to counter that denial in the hearing.
From there, you'll want to gather as much evidence and documentation as possible, including any medical records that may have been missing during the initial application review and anything else that can support your claim. Your attorney can offer some recommendations if you are unclear.
Things you should consider on the day of the hearing
Although the hearing is less formal than a courtroom appeal, you need to treat it with the proper level of respect. Dress professionally and maintain your composure throughout the hearing. Be direct and to the point when answering questions, provide as much information as possible to clearly illustrate your disability and its effects on your life, and provide examples where you can.
Do not assume that anyone present at the hearing has any prior knowledge of your disability or your case. Explain things in detail and don't leave things out. Be factual and direct about your medical prognosis. Take your lead from your attorney when answering questions and ask them before you speak if you are uncertain about something.
Things you should consider after the hearing
After the hearing, talk with your attorney about any possible next steps. They can tell you if you should be prepared for an appeal and what to consider in the event that an appeal is necessary. You should also ask the judge about any anticipated timeline for the results of your hearing so that you know what you can expect.
The more you understand in advance of your Social Security disability hearing, the easier it is to prepare and approach the hearing with confidence. Talk with your attorney today about the important elements of your case so that you can gather the necessary information.
Contact a Social Security disability lawyer for more information.