Social Security Disability Administrative Hearing
So, you’ve filed your Request for Reconsideration, and it’s been denied. What next? Once you receive your denial letter in the mail, you should let your attorney know immediately. You have sixty days, from the date of the denial letter to file a Request for an Administrative Hearing.
If for some reason the sixty-day deadline is missed, let’s say you’ve move and never received the denial letter, it not completely over. A Good Cause Petition will be drafted by your attorney and filed with Social Security. This letter will list the reason(s) the deadline was missed. Usually, Social Security will grant a hearing if a timely Good Cause Petition is filed.
Preparing for the Hearing
Before the date of your hearing, you will sit down with your attorney and prepare for the Hearing. Your attorney will review your medications. He or she will also review your recent medical treatment. It is important to make sure that all of your medical records have been requested from all of the medical facilities you have been treated at, and that these records have been uploaded to your electronic file. You have up until five days before your hearing to make sure Social Security has all of your records.
A Social Security Claim is different from other types of legal matters, in that you can upload your records, or evidence, throughout the process. Your attorney will review your work history for the last 15 years, and ultimately a pre-hearing brief will be drafted. All of these things are the evidence that your attorney will need in order to demonstrate that you are unable to engage in any substantial employment on a continuance basis.
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What Happens at the Administrative Hearing?
Administrative hearings are traditionally held in person. However, during the COVID-19 pandemic, they are held virtually using a video conferencing program. The administrative hearing usually takes about an hour. The only people present are the Judge, a court reporter, you, your attorney, and a vocational expert. There is no attorney on the other side. You are allowed to bring witnesses such as relatives, social workers, friends, therapists, nurses, or doctors.
During your hearing, the Judge will begin by asking you a series of questions. The Judge will ask you about your work history. Where did you work? How long did you work there? What were your job duties while there? Next, the Judge will go through your impairment or disability. When did it begin? How did it happen? How has if impacted your life? Describe your life before your impairment as to after your impairment.
After the Judge finishes his or her questions your attorney will ask some more in-depth questions to show the Judge two things. (1) Why you can’t work? In addition (2) What evidence supports this contention? Finally, the Vocational Expert may or may not present a few hypothetical situations to the Claimant. A hypothetical would be like; With this impairment could you do (fill in the blank) job?
It is the Vocational expert’s job to determine if, considering your impairment, there is any job within the United States economy that you could sustainably engage on a continuous basis. After the expert, the Judge will usually conclude your hearing. At this point, once again, you and your attorney will with for a decision.
Reach Out to a Lawyer to Discuss Your Hearing
If you have recently been denied on reconsideration it’s import that you speak with an attorney about the next steps. Having an attorney is a very valuable part of the hearing process. Your attorney will know how to prepare and present your evidence at a hearing that will give you the best chance for a favorable decision. If you have any questions about Social Security Disability Claim please call Schiller & Hamilton, LLC today.