Part 3 of 3.
How to Prepare for your Social Security Disability Hearing – what you should know.
Ninth: Understanding what you’re trying to prove
It is important that you understand the basics of the law. Making sure you know what you are trying to prove to the Judge. In the most simplified relaying of disability law, it is important to prove that you are unable to work full-time/Make more than Substantial Gainful Activity. Substantial gainful activity is defined as proving you are unable to make more than $1,260 gross income per month (2020).
I would suggest that you review the sequential evaluation just so you know what the Judge is trying to decide in your hearing. https://www.ssa.gov/OP_Home/cfr20/404/404-1520.htm
Note: An experienced attorney should have the sequential evaluation memorized and down pact.
Tenth: Consider hiring an experienced attorney
I recommend that you hire an experienced attorney. At Evans & Evans, we have participated in thousands of hearings. One of the things I take a lot of pride in is our preparation work we do with our clients.
- Review the F-Section and help order medical records
- Reach out to your medical doctors/providers and ask for letters and their opinions
- Explain to you what will happen on the day of your hearing
- Explain to you who your Judge is and their personality, types of questions he/she will ask, and any special quirks regarding your Judge
- Sample Questions. We do sample questions are our office where we pretend to be the Judge and ask you questions as if you’re in court.
- Read your file in advance and sit with you and point out any descrepencies in your file.
- Prepare you and explain to you the role the expert witnesses.
Two things that you may not be able to prepare for without advanced training.
First, cross examining the expert witnesses. In most hearings there is at least one expert witness, usually a vocational expert and in some cases a medical expert. It can take advanced training and experience in order to cross examine an expert witness appropriately.
Second, mock hearing. One of the things an experienced attorney should do is sit down with you and do a mock hearing/sample questions. This is where the attorney or non-attorney representative pretends to be the Judge and asks you questions that you may be presented with in court.
We hope this helps provide you some basic information on how to best prepare for a social security disability hearing.
We hope that you consider hiring Evans & Evans to help walk with you through your disability process.