A Social Security disability hearing can be stressful, since you’ve waited so long to have a judge hear your case, and you have no idea whether you’ll win your disability claim. Some people have to wait an entire year before receiving their day. Over half of all appeals are won at the hearing stage of the claims process, but it’s still crucial that you ensure the tides are in your favor.
You never want to arrive at the Office of Disability Adjudication and Review unprepared. Below, we outline how to win a Social Security disability hearing or at least increase your chances of a successful outcome. To learn more about how a Bakersfield disability attorney can help, contact Oren & Oren today.
Hire an Experienced Disability Attorney
The very first thing you should do to increase your chances of winning your Social Security disability hearing is to hire an experienced disability attorney. Yes, the Social Security Administration does allow you to represent yourself in court; however, we strongly advise against it. Statistically, applicants with legal representation at their disability hearing are more likely to receive benefits than those without such representation.
An experienced Bakersfield disability lawyer can also better help you prepare for the hearing. They will give you a rundown of the entire process and ensure that your case gets proper representation in front of the Administrative Law Judge (ALJ.
Show Up to Your Hearing on Time
It goes without saying that, to successfully argue your appeal, you must actually be there to make your case. Do everything within your power to make it to your hearing on time. While you can sometimes postpone your hearing, if you have a good reason, we advise making it to your hearing on the scheduled date and time.
Postponing your hearing without a good reason could reflect negatively on the seriousness of your disability. Likewise, completely failing to show up for you hearing effectively loses your chance of overturning the SSA’s denial of your benefits.
Remember That Appearances Matter
While you do not need to attend your hearing in expensive, formal clothing, you should attend it clean and well-groomed. Showing up in torn jeans and a ratty t-shirt signals a sense of disrespect to the court. This will in turn reflect negatively on your case.
In addition to physical appearance, you must also demonstrate proper respect to the ALJ reviewing your case. Address the judge civilly, and refrain from any rude or abrasive comments. You do not want to bite the hand that could overturn your denied benefits claim.
Familiarize Yourself With Your Case and Review Your Medical Records
Many applicants make the fatal mistake of assuming they don’t need to keep current with their case if they’ve hired a disability attorney. Yes, your attorney will represent the legal aspects of your case. However, only you truly understands the extent of your disability and how it affects your ability to work. Familiarize yourself with the medical evidence that proves your disability and review it all to make sure nothing is left out. Fully understanding your entire case shows the court your seriousness in receiving benefits.
Stay in Contact With Your Attorney
Your disability attorney is more than likely handling more than one disability case. Because of this, it is vital that you stay in constant contact with your attorney. This can help ensure that nothing falls through the cracks. You do not want to show up to your hearing only to find out that your attorney is missing crucial information.
Accurately Demonstrate the Effects of Your Disability
Pride has no place in a disability hearing. While you do not want to over-exaggerate your disability, you also do not want to downplay it either. Accurately demonstrate the extent of your disability by specifically stating how that disability prevents your ability to work. Remember, the sole purpose of your hearing is to accurately determine the extent of your suffering due to your disability. Downplaying your suffering could result in the lose of your disability claim.
For More Information on How to Win a Social Security Disability Hearing
Your chances of receiving disability benefits are higher during the hearing stage of the appeal process. Because of this, you need an experienced disability attorney who can help you increase your chances of obtaining a successful outcome. Contact Oren & Oren today to learn more about how we can help.