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SSDI hearing in 2 months what should I be doing?

If you have a SSDI disability hearing in two months you may have been waiting months or years to have this opportunity to argue your claim before an administration law judge. Given that this could be your best opportunity to win benefits, it’s important to take the right steps leading up to your SSDI hearing.

Recently on our disability forum a user asked, “If I have waited a year for my hearing and it is scheduled 2 months from now, what steps do I need to take to prepare for my SSDI hearing?”

The fact that this claimant has asked this question is wonderful. The last thing you want to do is go to the hearing wholly unprepared and fail to do something that could have made the different between winning and losing your case.

Steps before a SSDI Hearing

Let’s take a look at a few steps you can take now to improve your chances of winning at your SSDI hearing.

  1. Talk to a disability lawyer.

Although you are not legally required to seek legal help for your claim, a disability lawyer can improve your chances of winning benefits at every step in the appeals process, especially at the SSDI hearing. Even if you don’t spend a lot of time with your lawyer prior to the hearing, chances are they have argued dozens of other cases similar to your case.

Disability lawyers understand what they have to prove to win disability benefits for you. They know the evidence they need to provide to establish that your condition either meets a listing on the SSA Listing of Impairments or that you do not have the residual capacity to work.

The administrative law judge may disagree with the evidence provided, but the lawyer will at least present the right evidence to the judge.

  1. Review what you need to prove to win benefits.

I attended a hearing one time where the judge asked a claimant if he thought he could work. The claimant replied, “Sure.” This was a prime example of a claimant who did not understand what he needed to prove to win benefits.

In fact, if the claimant thought he could work he should never have been applying for disability benefits in the first place. SSDI is only given to claimants who have a severe disabling health condition which does not allow them to work for at least 12 continuous months. If a claimant can work; they need to work.

So what is the second most important thing to do prior to a hearing? Make sure you understand how to prove you cannot work your current job or retrain for new work or that your condition meets or equals a listing on the SSA Listing of Impairments.

  1. Make sure you have the right evidence to prove your case.

Finally, if you want to win at your SSDI hearing it’s critical that you have sufficient medical evidence to win your case. If you have hired a lawyer they will have access to all of the medical information the SSA has for your claim.

If you have not hired a lawyer you should also be able to get a copy of your disability file from the SSA. Review the file, and if needed, get more medical information.

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