We understand that going to a Social Security Disability hearing can be intimidating. More than two-thirds of those who file for Social Security Disability the first time are denied, according to the Social Security Administration. And 88% are denied a second time.
A lot is at stake.
Understandably, our clients have all kinds of questions before a hearing. Most of them are about paperwork and what they can do to get ready for their hearing.
There is really only one main thing we ask that our clients do themselves to help support their case. Keep up their medical treatments.
We can handle the paperwork side of things, since we know what the Social Security Administration is looking for in most instances.
Here are eight of the most common questions our clients ask us before we go into a hearing together.*
8 Common Questions Our Clients Ask Before Social Security Disability Hearings
- How long will it take for a decision to be issued and for benefits to be paid?
After the hearing, it often takes two to five months for a decision to be issued.
- Current benefits: it can take a month or two for current benefits payments to begin.
- Back due benefits: it can take from one to six months for all back benefits payouts to begin.
- Your attorney will discuss the judge’s decision with you to help determine the next course of action.
- Do I need to get medical records or reports for my representative?
No. You do not have to get any medical records or reports yourself unless your lawyer asks you to.
- But what if my doctor gives me a report?
If you happen to get something, such as a disability form, completed by your doctor for an insurance company, etc., be sure to forward a copy to your lawyer.
- What if the judge sends me a form that needs to be completed by my doctor?
Sometimes you may be sent a form to be completed by a doctor. If the judge sends you a form for your doctor to complete, call your attorney immediately so he or she can discuss and decide how to address this issue.
- Should I send my attorney the “acknowledgement” that comes with a Notice of Hearing?
No. There will be a document included with your Notice of Hearing that you must mark to let the judge’s office know you will attend the hearing. This document is called an Acknowledgement of Notice of Hearing. Ordinarily, this acknowledgement notice should be sent directly back to the judge. Your lawyer shouldn’t need a copy.
- Should I send anything else to the judge?
No. Your attorney is responsible for all evidence submission. You should talk with your attorney before submitting anything to ensure you’re not sending duplicates of what is already in your file.
- What will my attorney do to prepare for the hearing?
Your attorney has a lot to do on your behalf to prepare for your hearing. Much of it is working behind the scenes obtaining and reviewing your files and medical history. Your attorney will review your social security file and research the laws and facts of your case to plan what he or she believes is the best course of action to try to prove your case and potentially win your claim for benefits.He or she will obtain necessary medical records and any other records needed, including reports from your doctors. Prior to your hearing, your attorney will speak with you to help prepare you to testify.
- What can I do to help get ready for my hearing?
The most important aspect of your case is medical evidence. No matter how severe your condition is, the Social Security Administration is required to have well-documented and current medical evidence on file. That is why we emphasize to our clients that they make every effort to maintain steady treatment with their doctors. This medical evidence is crucial to ensuring the potential for a successful outcome of their trial.
We understand maintaining medical treatment is sometimes difficult due to financial limitations and the cost of insurance. If our clients are having trouble paying for medical treatment, we ask them to contact us for a list of low-cost clinics in their area.
NC Social Security Disability Lawyers Give FREE Case Evaluations
We hope this information offers a bit of insight into how we endeavor to work together with our clients to try to present the best case possible at their hearing. If you are considering applying for Social Security Disability or if you’ve been denied, give us a call. We’ll give you a FREE case evaluation.
And don’t worry about paying us an attorney’s fee up front. We work on contingency, which means we do not get an attorney’s fee unless you receive benefits. Second – and very good news for our Social Security Disability clients – the federal government caps that fee. They know money is tight for people on Social Security Disability. That Social Security Disability fee is limited to 25% of back-due benefits, or $6,000, whichever is less.
* Each case is unique, and this information may not be applicable in all situations.