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How to Prepare for a Disability Hearing

If your Social Security disability benefits claim is denied, you have the right to file an appeal. It is very important to do this because many claims are denied initially, but are approved at the appeals stage.

The disability hearing will play a very important role in the appeals process. A hearing takes place before an Administrative Law Judge (ALJ), and you will be required to present your case at the hearing with your Social Security disability benefits attorney. (It’s not necessary that you be represented by an attorney, but it is highly recommended as the chances of success increases with the help of experienced legal counsel.)

Arrive on time for the hearing, and dress appropriately. It’s best to discuss the questions that will be asked of you at the appeal hearing beforehand with your attorney. Your attorney will make sure your answers are correct, concise, and address the important issues properly.

You can expect to be asked questions about your condition. It is important to give clear and precise answers to questions. Avoid rambling, and avoid giving long-winded explanations for simple questions.

Remember, the questions may make you feel uncomfortable. The judge may have a problem with the quality of medical records that you have presented as evidence in support of your claim, and you must be prepared to defend your medical records, and explain any facts that the judge might find questionable. If you, for instance, have not been under medical treatment for a while, be prepared to explain to the judge why that is so.

Discuss these questions thoroughly with your attorney. The hearing is an important event and will have a significant impact on an appeal if an initial denial is made.