Being prepared for your disability hearing is important in getting the Social Security disability benefits you deserve. A Social Security disability lawyer can help you prepare for your disability hearing. You will need to understand why the Social Security Administration denied your claim and provide evidence to show you qualify for benefits.
The Social Security disability appeals process is complex and difficult. The process can take more than a year and can be incredibly frustrating.
Understanding What Went Wrong
The first step in preparing for your disability hearing is getting to the bottom of what went wrong. In general, there are two types of denials: medical denials or technical denials.
A medical denial means the Office of Disability Determination Services did not find the evidence they needed to prove you suffer from a qualifying impairment or cannot work because of your medical condition.
The medical qualifications are the same for Social Security Disability Insurance (SSDI) and Supplemental Security Income (SSI). Both programs require medical evidence showing you meet the criteria under a Blue Book listing or proof that your condition prevents you from working any job.
Technical denials occur when you do not meet the technical qualifications for the program you apply for. Before the local Social Security field office forwards your file on to the Office of Disability Determination Services, it ensures you meet these qualifications. For example, you must:
- Earn less than the current substantial gainful activity limit for SSDI
- Have enough work credits, and recent enough credits, for SSDI
- Meet the household income limits for SSI
- Meet the household asset limits for SSI
If you do not meet the technical qualifications, a technical denial will be issued and your medical records will not be ordered or reviewed.
You Must Prove You Qualify During Your Hearing
To get the disability benefits you need, you must prove you meet the technical qualifications and that your disability is severe enough to keep you from working. An attorney can help you compile evidence, including collecting your medical records from all your doctors. The medical evidence needs to show you meet an impairment listing or otherwise suffer a qualifying impairment.
The medical evidence necessary to prove you qualify for disability may include:
- Medical imaging such as CT scans, X-rays, and MRI scans
- Clinical and laboratory test results
- Information about your treatment and outcome
- Surgical notes
- Other diagnostic information recorded by your doctor
- Notes about your prognosis, impairments, or future care needs
- Other documentation of your illness, injury, or impairment
You may also want to collect other documentation of how your impairment affects your life, such as letters from your previous employer about your inability to do the job.
In some cases, you will need to ensure that the Judge who presides over your hearing has all the information they need to confirm you meet the technical qualifications.. This could include your work history, pay stubs or W2 forms, and other financial information.
Let Us Handle Your Pittsburgh Disability Appeal for You
The Social Security disability attorneys at Berger and Green can handle your Pittsburgh Social Security disability appeal for you, from filing the initial paperwork to representing you at your hearing. If the Social Security Administration denied your initial application for SSDI or SSI, let us file your appeal and fight for the disability benefits and back pay you deserve.
When we take on a disability appeal, we:
- Get your case on the Administrative Law Judge’s docket
- Look into why the Social Security Administration denied your claim
- Collect evidence and build a persuasive case
- Answer any questions or concerns you may have about your appeal or hearing
- Represent you to the Administrative Law Judge and the Social Security Administration
- Argue for your monthly payments and full back pay
- Continue the appeals process, if necessary
It is important to note that it can take more than a year before the date of your disability hearing arrives. During this time you can focus on your health and get the medical treatment that you need.
Contact Berger and Green About Your Pittsburgh Disability Appeal Today
If the Social Security Administration denied your Pittsburgh disability claim, Berger and Green can help. Let us help you prepare for your disability hearing and represent you before the judge.
Call or text our team today at 412-661-1400 for your free case evaluation.