Everyone wants to be approved for their Social Security Disability benefits; otherwise they wouldn’t have applied for them in the first place. But unfortunately, many applicants are denied in the initial decision on their claim. The next step is to begin the appeals process; if your appeal is declined, you must request a hearing with an Administrative Law Judge (ALJ). Because a significant percentage of disabled individuals get denied at hearings, it’s important to prepare your claim well beforehand. Read on to learn more about winning Social Security Disability (SSD) or Supplemental Security Income at a hearing.
There are a number of things you can do before your SSD hearing to improve your chances of winning SSD benefits. While doing one of these things won’t guarantee you will win approval of your Social Security Disability eligibility, doing none of these things will definitely guarantee you won’t win benefits.
Document Everything Involving your Case
Medical record documentation is essential to proving you are actually disabled and eligible for benefits. And when I say everything, I mean EVERYTHING. That means your entire medical history, including dates of all your doctor’s visits, medications that you’ve taken, how your disability has increased or diminished, etc. It’s essential to submit all your medical records from the time you first started noticing your disability, because the ALJ at your hearing will need to determine whether your SSD benefits should be paid from your alleged onset.
If you hire a Social Security Disability Advocate for your hearing, they will submit a copy of all your records to the ALJ. If you are missing anything vital to your case, your advocate will make every effort to obtain the missing records.
Get Supportive Statements from your Doctors
While statements from treating physicians are helpful, they seem to carry much more weight when evaluated by an Administrative Law Judge. It is not always clear who is making determinations on your claim at the initial levels of your SSD claim. At a hearing these statements can actually win the whole case! For that reason, you should request that any of the doctors you are seeing write supportive statements that back up the objective medical evidence you have submitted to the ALJ.
Hire a Social Disability Advocate
If you haven’t done so already, hire an SSD advocate. Your advocate will have been to numerous hearings, and know all the questions you need to be able to answer, evidence needed, how to present this evidence to the ALJ, etc. They will prepare you for your hearing the way no article on the internet can. Having a skilled and knowledgeable advocate at your side can definitely be the difference between winning and losing your SSD claim.
Your Social Security Disability hearing is the culmination of months, sometimes years, of waiting to be heard and approved for your SSD benefits. Don’t risk losing at your hearing, hire an SSD advocate and improve your chances of winning Social Security Disability benefits.
Binder & Binder® was formed in 1975 to help clients all over America obtain Social Security Disability benefits. As America's Most Successful Social Security Disability Advocates®, they have served tens of thousands of people throughout the United States, Puerto Rico, the Virgin Islands and all U.S. territories in matters of Social Security Disability and Supplemental Security Income.