Most applicants who are initially denied disability benefits may not realize that being represented at the hearing level of the appeals process are twice as likely to be approved than an unrepresented applicant.
A disability hearing before an administrative law judge (ALJ) will require submitting detailed medical evidence, putting together a statement of your disability, preparing to answer certain questions, and having credible witnesses who can validate your condition.
This is not an easy undertaking to handle on your own. There are many advantages to having a lawyer on your side to guide you through this process.
At Dayes Law Firm, we know what it takes to get approved for disability benefits. Our lawyers are well-versed in the Social Security Administration's (SSA) eligibility requirements. We are prepared to review your claim and advise you of your legal options during a complimentary and confidential consultation.
Why Presenting a Disability Case Properly Matters
If your request for reconsideration is denied, your disability case would be sent to a hearing. Presenting yourself properly is important because this can impact the ALJ's decision to approve or deny your disability claim.
A lawyer can make sure that your disability hearing is held properly, that the right questions are asked and that you are prepared to present your case well enough to prove your eligibility for benefits.
This preparation means having the proper documentation and supportive evidence to prove that you are unable to work. Copies of all of your medical records to be reviewed by the ALJ should include examination notes, doctor notes, details of any limitations and restrictions due to your condition, test records, lab results, treatment plans, prescription medications, and anything else deemed relevant.
Since documentation is such an important part in improving the odds of winning a disability case, a lawyer can play a significant role at a hearing. He or she will know how to effectively utilize medical and vocational experts as well as gather medical opinions from your treating doctor on your behalf.
Chances of Approval at a Social Security Disability Appeal
When you are represented by a lawyer, your chances of appealing a Social Security Disability denial successfully can increase. On a national level, approximately 47 percent of all disability cases at the hearing level are approved. When it comes to the overall outcome of SSDI or SSI claims, about 60 percent of applicants who decided to hire a lawyer are ultimately approved.
A lawyer would be able to support you at the hearing, submit evidence to the ALJ, ask questions in front of the ALJ and provide details of your condition that supports your claim.
He or she would also work with you to choose witnesses to appear at the hearing and prepare them so that they provide the necessary information regarding how your condition limits your daily life.
Questions Expected to Be Asked by an ALJ
Being familiar with how disability hearings are conducted is critical. A lawyer can prepare you for the kinds of questions expected to be asked by an ALJ. Aside from basic information, such as your name, age, mailing address, height and weight, you should be prepared to answer questions such as:
- Are you currently working?
- What was your last job and your responsibilities?
- Do you have a formal education?
- Do you have vocational training?
- Have you tried to work since you became disabled?
- What is your official diagnosis?
- What treatments have you tried?
- Have you experienced any side effects from treatments?
- How does you disability impact your daily activities?
- How does your disability impact your ability to care for yourself?
- How long are you able to stand, walk, sit without taking a break?
- How many pounds can you lift?
When answering questions the ALJ asks you, it is also important to avoid making certain statements that could hurt your chances of approval, such as exaggerating or downplaying your symptoms, being vague about your condition and limitations, or rambling or going off topic.
Let Us Prepare You for Your Disability Hearing
If you have a valid claim, our reputable Phoenix Social Security Disability lawyers are ready to help make sure that you are prepared for your disability hearing.
Contact our firm anytime as we are available to take your call or chat online 24 hours a day, seven days week. An initial consultation is free of charge and there are no upfront costs while we work on your case. We only get paid at the end if we help you obtain the disability benefits you need.
Dayes Law Firm. Trusted. Local. Lawyers. Ph: 1-800-503-2000.