If you have appealed your disability denial, you will eventually have a chance to argue your case before an Administrative Law Judge. A hearing before a Judge is a legal proceeding. We highly recommend attending a hearing with a legal representative. In fact, if you show up to the hearing without an attorney, most Judges will postpone the hearing until you obtain one.
So, what happens at a hearing?
The main portion of the hearing will be your testimony. The Judge will be interested to know about your medical conditions and how they affect you and your ability to work.
For example, if your back causes severe pain which limits your ability to walk, the Judge will want to know. Or, if you have a mental condition that impacts your ability to concentrate on even simple tasks, the Judge will want to know that as well.
For more details on the types of questions the Judge will ask, please see our more detailed blog post here.
Keep in mind that the hearing is “informal,” which simply means that the formal rules of legal evidence and procedure are not used. There is no attorney on the other side, which means that you will not hear “objections” to your testimony.
There will likely also be expert testimony from either: (1) a vocational expert; (2) a medical expert; or (3) both. For more details on expert testimony, please see our blog post here.
A good attorney will prepare you for the types of questions the Judge will ask. Your attorney should also give you advice on your demeanor and answering techniques. For example, we always recommend that your testimony be as short as possible – less is more.
Your hearing is an important part of the disability process. The Judge will be focused on whether you meet Social Security’s definition of “disability.”
A good representative can help:
- Prepare you for the hearing;
- Guide your questioning at the hearing;
- Cross-examine experts; and
- Give opening and closing statements.
RCM Disability is associated with RCM Legal, a law firm in Southern California committed to passionately fighting for justice. RCM specializes in personal injury, product liability, social security disability, workplace sexual harassment, and unlawful firing / wrongful termination.
Find us at www.rcmlegal.com, or contact us today: