What to Expect at an SSD Hearing
Undoubtedly, one of the most stressful parts of claiming Social Security Disability can be the hearing to review your case. While it may feel like you are walking into a court room trial, full of drama and scrutiny, SSD hearings are rarely so intense. In fact, it may be far more informal than you would expect. This, however, does not diminish the seriousness of your case, nor the preparation that should go into providing a proper testimony. If you have not done so, it is highly recommended you speak with a dedicated Social Security benefits lawyer before attending your hearing.
Having legal counsel at your side will not only head off any potential complications during the procedure, but will show the presiding judge that you are serious about the process.
The Kenton Koszdin Law Office can not only prepare all of the appropriate documentation and necessary fees in a timely fashion, but can walk you through, step-by-step, the various stages you will encounter at your hearing. Call attorney Kenton Koszdin today and schedule an appointment to review your case file and to begin preparations. The number to dial is (800) 438-7734.
My Hearing – Who And What Should I Expect?
It is only natural to be nervous about your Social Security Disability hearing. There is quite a bit depending on a positive outcome, but keep in mind that the proceedings will be quite small – intimate in fact. In all likelihood, the hearing will be held in a hotel conference room or a local Social Security office. You will not be facing a jury of your peers or a packed audience – even though it may feel that way. In fact, the individuals involved are not there to “judge” you at all, but rather make a fair evaluation of the facts presented about your condition. The people you will most certainly encounter include:
Administrative Law Judge (ALJ)
The ALJ is present to oversee the hearing from start to finish and render a final judgment on your case. They may or may not be wearing judge’s robes and in rare cases, be seated at a bench ahead of everyone. As opposed to the typical court room proceedings that you may see on television, the ALJ will do all of the questioning in a calm and appropriate fashion.
Vocational & Medical Experts
In many cases, but not all, an expert will be present to provide his or her opinion on your case. The ALJ will call upon these individuals to provide insight into your job or injuries. They will usually be called upon, following your own questioning.
Sometimes, but not always, there will be a specific person assigned to tape your hearing. Their only role is to provide documentation of your case should it be needed at a later date.
A Few Helpful Tips
- While it is not necessary, wearing proper attire is suggested. Dress casual is fine.
- Be on time.
- It is ok to express your emotions. Crying is completely understandable as you are detailing a very personal part of your life. However, refrain from embellishment and state only the facts of your situation.
- Speak with a Social Security Disability attorney beforehand. Even if you choose not to bring representation with you to the hearing, have a lawyer review your case and help strategize ahead of time.