I have a disability hearing, What do I do now? A disability hearing is when you appear in front of Federal Administrative Law Judge, the judge is trained in the disability rules under Social Security. It is always advisable to obtain a disability attorney who has performed hearings and understands what the Federal Judge is looking for in your claim. The rules change and not knowing the rules of Social Security Disability can have very bad effects on your claim.
Where do they have these disability hearings? Most of the time these hearings are held at the local Office of Disability Adjudication and Review, or called ODAR. This is the branch of disability that conducts the hearings, they make independent decision on your disability claim. Sometimes in more rural areas they will have a branch office and the hearing will be conducted by video phone, (the judge will be in a different city that you are) and audio speaker.
Who will be at my disability hearing? Besides yourself there will be a judge, a vocational expert and person taking notes for Social Security. If you have hired an attorney, your attorney will be there with you. You will need to be there early, and you will need to dress appropriately, you want to show the Federal Judge you are taking this matter seriously. Generally your hearing will last between 30 minutes and 1 hour, it just depends on the judge at your disability hearing.
Will they ask me questions at my disability hearing? Yes they will ask you many questions at your disability hearing. Having an attorney can put your mind at ease when you think about all the questions they might ask you. Many questions have been raised before at hearings in the past, and the attorney can let you know what to expect at your hearing. They will ask you questions about your condition and some answers you gave in writing when you applied may be asked of you again at the disability hearing.
Will they have all my records at my disability hearing? Generally speaking no. They will have many of your records, but it is your responsibility to get your records updated before your disability hearing. It is not the responsibility of the government. As a disability attorney I get your records updated, that is part of my job. I do not have hearings where records are not updated, it is one of the most important things that I do for my clients.
Please give me a call and let me take the worry out of your disability claim. You can phone me at Toll Free 1 (877) 271-2633, I look forward to speaking with you about your claim and disability hearing.