If you’re already participating in the Social Security disability Ticket to Work program, then you may have previously experienced a disability hearing firsthand. A disability hearing is part of the process by which someone who is initially denied disability benefits to present the details of his or her case in greater depth. While there’s no hearing required to review your eligibility for the Ticket to Work program itself, many who have participated in the program had to go through the hearing process to gain their initial benefits.
If you’ve been denied disability benefits in your first attempt to gain them, you may continue to pursue a claim by requesting a hearing. As is the case in any governmental proceeding, the process can appear convoluted to the uninitiated, and that can make it seem far more daunting than it needs to be. By familiarizing yourself with the likely chain of events that will transpire during the hearing, you can take the mystery out of the equation and better prepare yourself for a successful resolution to your claim. Read on to learn more about what you can expect during a Social Security disability hearing.
Expect to Be Questioned
The purpose of the hearing is for the full scope of your disability to be presented to a judge who will then account for the details of your case and render a decision. In some cases, the initial claim process may not allow for the leeway your case demands due to unique extenuating circumstances. As the claimant, you get an opportunity to present your case in its entirety with the help of counsel. The judge will ask you questions about your medical condition, your work history, previous and ongoing medical treatment, your level of education, and the impact that your disability has had on your professional and personal life. Be honest and straightforward but include as much detail as you think is necessary to accurately represent impact of your disability and the scope of your case.
Chance to Make Your Case
Your attorney or disability advocate will get an opportunity to argue your case and present information beyond the questions that the judge asks you. In some instances, the questions asked by the judge alone may not adequately highlight the circumstances or conditions involved in your disability. Your attorney or advocate can ask you additional questions to illuminate the facts and argue your case in its entirety.
Opportunity to Present Expert Witnesses
Sometimes, your testimony alone won’t carry enough technical credibility to sway a judge to grant you benefits. Therefore, the testimony of an expert medical or vocational witness may be necessary to further justify your argument and convince the judge of the true nature of your disability and its impact on your livelihood. Evidence presented by expert witness testimony may include descriptions of the extent of your injury, its impact on your previous line of work, or the nature of additional treatments that are required to maintain your health.
Expect Your Decision in Weeks
While many claimants think that a decision on their case will be rendered immediately after the end of the hearing, that usually doesn’t happen. In fact, it’s almost guaranteed that you won’t receive the decision on the same day as your hearing. The judge can sometimes take as long as 30 days to render their decision in cases involving complex medical conditions or intense detail, but usually the claimant has a decision in a few weeks.
If you’ve been denied disability benefits during your initial petition and are preparing for a disability hearing, you should know what you can expect so that you can properly prepare your case. To learn more about what to expect after a favorable decision, contact DisABLEd Workers at (877) 291-9806.