As your Social Security disability hearing date approaches, the doubts and anxieties may start to overwhelm you, especially if you are not quite clear on what will happen next. Here are some tips to follow to boost your chances of having a successful outcome at the SSD hearing.
Having an experienced Social Security disability lawyer representing you can make all the difference. So reach out to Ascend Disability today!
On-Time Response & Attendance Are Essential
Punctuality plays an instrumental role in determining the success (or failure) of your SSD hearing. Remember that your goal is to leave a good impression on all those involved in the case. The last thing you want is to miss the window of opportunity to persuade the SSA to reverse the denial of your disability benefits.
Once you receive the determination from the previous round of consideration or the decision to even request a hearing, you only have 60 days to respond. The Administrative Law Judge (ALJ) could very well revoke your right to further review by dismissing your appeal if you miss that deadline without a good reason.
You are more than likely juggling a lot already – especially when it comes to your scheduled doctor appointments, therapy sessions, and other time-sensitive aspects of your treatment protocol. Fortunately, by having an attorney to represent you, they will be able to keep you on schedule when meeting deadlines throughout this process.
Show Respect to the Court With Dress & Grooming
Make sure that your clothing, hair, and all other aspects of your appearance are neat and appropriate for a court appearance. The Administrative Law Judge who will oversee the hearing will not appreciate any unruly behavior, unkept grooming, or overly casual attire.
In addition, be mindful of what you say and how you say it during your hearing as well. Any rude behavior or verbally abusive comments may lead to a quick denial of your appeal. Even if the hearing takes place via online video or over the phone, showing respect for the ALJ’s time and attention should be a top priority.
Don’t Minimize or Exaggerate Your Symptoms
Most people know that exaggerating your symptoms is a horrible idea and essentially a quick way to compromise your entire case. It is just as important, though, to make sure that you do not minimize your symptoms either.
The judge expects you to say that you are in pain and explain exactly how the pain and discomfort impair your ability to go through any daily activities of your life. There is no need for you to downplay the severity of your symptoms or minimize the pain experienced as a direct result of your disability. You should be as stoic with your responses as possible.
Keep in mind that the ALJ may use a vocational expert or a medical expert as an expert witness during your case to answer questions related specifically to your diagnosis and related limitations. Honesty and accuracy with your responses will help your attorney to align your testimony with theirs without any discrepancies or red flags.
Keep Your Medical Records Up-to-Date
You will likely have medical records, doctors’ orders, and even prescription records shortly after you first become disabled. However, it is easy to allow weeks, months, or even years to pass by without receiving any updates to those records.
Before your hearing date, make sure that you have a complete file of medical records – including a recent check-up and/or examination that will help the judge to determine your current needs. Focus on the significance of establishing and maintaining a paper trail throughout this process – ensuring that everything related to your case, disability, and work status is properly documented.
Familiarize Yourself With the Details of the Case
Throughout the hearing, you will likely be questioned by both your attorney and the attorney representing the SSA about your disability and the contents of your benefits application. A lot of time may have passed since you were initially disabled, had your first doctor’s appointment regarding the disability, or even filled out the application.
Work with your attorney to review the details of your case file to keep that information fresh in your mind. This will also give you ample time to review the pertinent details that may have become foggy within your memory – especially when it comes to specific dates and the overall timeline of your disability, treatment protocol, and other important dates and deadlines.
Let Us Help You Prepare for Your SSD Hearing
Our attorneys at Ascend Disability have decades of experience and are committed to providing the most effective legal representation available. We are ready to help you prepare for your SSD hearing and advocate for you. Contact us today for a free consultation.