If you have applied for, and been denied, Social Security Disability Income (SSDI) benefits chances are you are involved in one of the appeal stages. The first right of appeal you have is to ask for a reconsideration of your case. If you are still denied at that stage, you can go to a hearing and explain your case to the Administrative Law Judge. The hearing is somewhat informal, but can still be intimidating to applicants. Our job is to put you at ease, and we do this by going over the process with you and making sure you are prepared. Knowing what to expect will help settle your nerves and allow you to answer questions without hesitation or confusion.
Some top tips for how to handle the questions you will be asked at your SSDI hearing include:
• Answer the question asked, without trying to give extra information or embellishment. The truth is that the Judge really does want to hear your answer, so take a breath and give an accurate answer to the question you have been asked.
• Avoid giving a long story or narrative of your case.
• Give specific examples when asked, and be sure to explain how you are limited in what you can now do.
• If you have not seen a doctor on a consistent basis, explain why there is a gap. It might be that you did not have insurance coverage and could only go to the most important appointments, or maybe on the day of your follow up you had a family emergency or did not have a ride. Be honest about why you have not seen a doctor consistently, and refer to any notes you have made if needed.
• If your records contain information that tend to show you are not disabled, be ready to explain what was going on when the physician made that note. It is possible to have periods where you feel better, and then your condition worsens. This is natural and should be confronted head on rather than hidden.
We will practice questions with you and make sure you feel comfortable with your work and medical history. You do not need to know a lot of medical or legal terms, you just need to practice being asked questions before your hearing date arrives. We are there for you, aggressively pursuing benefits and are happy to answer any questions before so you do not feel intimidated.
For more information and answers to your questions about disability benefits, call an experienced attorney for help. Contact us online today for more information. We can also be reached by phone at 855-727-6353.