Living with a disability is difficult, managing through the process of obtaining disability benefits should not be. Read on for more information on what you can expect at your SSD hearing and how you can prepare.
When a claim is denied at the reconsideration level and an appeal is filed, the claim is then transferred to an OHO office.
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The SSA holds disability hearings at the Office of Hearings Operations, also referred to as OHO. A federally appointed Administrative Law Judge (ALJ) will conduct the hearing there.
It is important to know, that although ALJs are appointed, they are not technically under the Social Security Administration’s authority. They are independent and neutral, which enables them to make unbiased decisions about Social Security Disability claims.
In preparation for your hearing, an experienced Social Security Disability attorney will gather medical evidence to support your claim and prepare you for your testimony.
Having an experienced Social Security Disability attorney represent you at your hearing helps you, the claimant, focus on your health. Keeping doctors’ appointments and maintaining treatment for your disabilities is crucial to your SSD case.
At the hearing, your attorney will present evidence, take testimony, question the vocational expert, and argue your case before the ALJ.
The ALJ will also review your file and analyze your medical and vocational evidence. This includes all the documents from your initial claim, as well as any new evidence. After the hearing, the SSA will send you a letter and a copy of the ALJ’s decision.
Success is very possible at this stage because you can appear before the Judge and tell him or her about your disability in your own words. Having an experienced attorney on your side will help as well.
Disability lawyers are not required when applying for Social Security Disability benefits; however, they do increase your chances of success.
Statistics show that claimants who are represented by a disability lawyer win their benefits far more often than those who try to handle matters on their own. This is true at every stage; the initial claim, the reconsideration and appeal stages, as well as the hearing before the Administrative Law Judge.
While you can certainly apply for disability benefits on your own, it is better if you have help. Having representation helps win SSD and SSI claims because the regulations that govern the Social Security Administration’s disability programs are so complex. Ensure you receive the benefits you deserve and contact an experienced Social Security Disability attorney at Berger and Green today for a free consultation.