Social Security Disability Hearing: The Basics


Denied. This is the last word that you want to see after you have applied for your benefits. It is a long, tiresome, and rewarding process. But sadly, in 67% of all Social Security disability claims, you will be denied at your initial application. That is okay. In fact, even after you send in a request for reconsideration, you are likely to be denied a second time. It is part of the process and should be expected. However, don’t give up. At this point, you can appeal for a hearing and this is where most cases are won.

The Basics

Once you have been denied at your request for reconsideration, you have 60 days to file an appeal. You might ask yourself it is even worth it keep trying. It is! Your initial claim and request for reconsideration are reviewed by someone who works at a desk. They are never able to meet you and to them you are just the sum of your paperwork. But at a hearing, you talk to a real person. You can tell your story. Here are a few tips:

Be Patient

  • After your file an appeal it can take between 12 and 16 month for a hearing with an Administrative Law Judge (ALJ).
  • It’s a lot of time, but its worth it.

Be Consistent

  • Continue to receive medical treatment during the waiting period.
  • If you don’t, the Judge may assume your condition has improved and no longer need benefits.
  • Receiving treatment will help demonstrate that you have a severe impairment.

Be Prepared

  • This is the most important thing you can do.
  • Before your hearing you must submit any evidence you wish the ALJ to review.
  • Before the hearing you should have your doctor fill out an RFC form. Bring it to the hearing.
    • A Residual Function Capacity form will explain your disability in a way that the Judge will understand clearly.
  • I strongly recommend hiring an experienced attorney to help you.

A hearing with a judge is simple and straightforward, but it requires a lot of preparation, management and time. For more information on what happens at a hearing follow this link here.

If you are hoping to apply for Social Security disability benefits, or are even at the hearing stage, contact us today. We are experienced Social Security Disability Lawyers and we can help you be prepared for your hearing. We want the best for you.

Photo courtesy of tpsdave and Pixabay. The image is free for commercial use.