If you develop a serious disability that prevents you from working, you may qualify for Social Security benefits to help supplement your income. However, before you can receive these benefits, you must go through a Social Security disability hearing during which a judge will assess the nature of your condition and the viability of your claim. If you’re curious about the process or have a hearing coming up, the following guide will shed some light on what to expect.
How to Prepare for a Hearing
During the hearing, you’re allowed to have legal representation for your case. To ensure you’re fully prepared, meet with a disability attorney as early as possible. Your lawyer will help you gather evidence to support your claim as well as prepare questions that may be asked during the hearing.
How the Hearing Proceeds
While the hearing is an official court process, it won’t take place in a courtroom. Instead, it will be a closed meeting that consists only of you, your attorney, your judge, a reporter, and any official parties that will provide testimony.
Statement of Facts & Questioning
First, the judge will review a statement of facts that details what’s already known about your disability and the impact you claim it has on your ability to work. Next, the judge will ask you questions regarding the nature of your disability to gather more pertinent information on the decision.
At this point, your attorney may ask you prepared questions to further illuminate the validity of your case.
Typically, a variety of qualified professionals—such as doctors and vocational experts—will provide their opinion on whether or not your disability claim is fit for approval.
Once the hearing is over, it’s most likely that the judge will not offer a formal decision right away. Instead, you will need to wait a few weeks to receive an official decision in the mail.
In some cases, a bench decision may be provided to give you insight on the outcome. However, in these situations, you will still need to wait for the official decision regarding your approval to receive benefits.
While it takes several steps to be approved for disability benefits, The Gil Law Firm offers comprehensive assistance to streamline the process. Serving clients in the Dothan, AL, area, Rafael Gil III will help you prepare for your Social Security disability hearing and provide reliable representation. If necessary, additional support for the appeals process is available. To learn more about these services, visit this law firm online. If you’d like to schedule a consultation with an experienced attorney to discuss your case, call (334) 673-0100.