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Social security disability (SSD) hearings can be stressful. The financial security of your future is at stake, and you need to prepare to appeal the Social Security Administration’s (SSA) decision to deny your SSD claim. From the first hearing with the administrative law judge (ALJ) to a final hearing with the federal court, you have to supply appropriate documentation of your disability, including medical records and key witnesses, to earn SSD benefits.
The first step in the appeals process of an SSD claim is reconsideration—a document the applicant sends to the SSA with appropriate updated medical information and other evidence of disability. If the SSA denies the reconsideration, the appeal will move to the second step – the SSD hearing.
Who Is the Administrative Law Judge?
At every SSD appeal hearing, the presiding judge is an administrative law judge (ALJ). The ALJ hears the claims or disputes involving administrative law. An SSD appeal hearing is less formal and simpler than other cases but still requires proper preparation on the plaintiff’s part.
Your lawyer can provide in-depth information on what you can expect from the ALJ. An experienced Killeen Social Security Disability lawyer will most likely have an existing relationship with the presiding ALJ, which will help your case during the hearing stage of the appeals process. Remember: the ALJ has as much authority as a judge in a regular hearing, even though SSA hearings are less formal.
How Do I Prepare for an SSD Hearing?
The first step in preparing for an SSD hearing is to know how far away your court date is. Your lawyer can warn you ahead of time so you can prepare. The time required to get an SSD hearing can be extensive depending on which hearing office your case goes to (and the population of people that office handles).
Getting a disability lawyer in Texas is the best way to prepare for an SSD hearing. A lawyer with experience handling SSD cases can help you file the appropriate appeal documentation, hire a key medical witness to attest to your condition, and more. With an SSD lawyer by your side, you do not have to worry about doing or saying something wrong during a hearing.
Unlike other attorneys who wait until the hearing date to meet with a new client, the SSD attorneys at Ted Smith Law Group, PLLC, will meet with you about your case in person long before the hearing to prepare you for what to expect in front of the ALJ. We will also keep you updated about your case the entire time.
Knowing as much as you can about your case is another way to prepare for your SSD hearing. That includes reviewing your personal Social Security file to find out exactly why the SSA denied your original claim and the reconsideration. You also need to know the details about your disability, including your current prognosis, treatments, and full medical history. Since the SSA denies most claims on the grounds that the applicant can perform some form of work (even if he or she cannot return to a past job), you will also need to learn about your work history and have a solid argument with proof as to why you cannot work.
Need Legal Help With Your SSD Hearing?
Remember, the number one way to achieve a “yes” decision in an SSD hearing is to come prepared with an experienced lawyer. Trust Ted Smith Law Group, PLLC, to help you with your SSD hearing. Benefit from a group of lawyers who have the ability and resources to help you succeed. Contact us today to discuss your SSD case in full, on the phone or in person, at one of our Texas locations.