Who will be at my disability hearing and should I be concerned?Recently a disability applicant asked, I have a disability hearing scheduled next month. I am really nervous. Who will I be at my hearing and do what should I do to prepare?
Getting ready for your disability hearing
Millions of disability applicants have applied for Social Security Disability Insurance (SSDI) this year. Thousands more have been waiting months or years to have their disability hearing scheduled.
Now that your hearing is scheduled it is important that you take the right steps to prepare. Hopefully, you have hired a disability lawyer to help you. If so, they should be able to answer all of your questions about the hearing.
If you do not have a lawyer, however, do not despair. The good news is there are thousands of articles online that you can review that can provide information about what to expect at your hearing.
What do I really need to know about the disability hearing?
As you peruse the internet and determine what you need to do to prepare focus on articles that specifically talk about the following:
- Physically preparing for the hearing
- Understanding your medical records
- Understanding what you need to prove to win benefits
- How your medical records can affect the disability decision
Who will be at your disability hearing?
Now, you also asked about who would be at your hearing. Understanding who is at your hearing and the role they will play can be critical to the success of your case. Attendees of your hearing can include a judge, you, your lawyer, a medical expert, and a vocational expert.
The judge is the objective arbiter of the case. He will hear all of the evidence and make a decision for disability, much like an administrative judge would do in a civil or criminal case. If the judge has questions about a medical matter or if your case is medically complicated, a medical expert might be present to explain the medical details of the case to the court.
Additionally, there may be a vocational expert present. Understanding the role of the vocational expert is very important. A vocational expert is there to present evidence to the court about whether or not you have the ability retrain for new work within the national economy. When asked by the judge whether or not you can work the vocational expert may have a list of jobs that they believe you could perform given your mental and physical limitations.
Although their testimony might be the most difficult to dispute, if you have a lawyer the lawyers job is to present medical evidence that proves you cannot work the jobs they suggest. If you do not have a lawyer, you will want to understand the type of information that they are likely to present and have medical evidence of your own to refute any of their testimony that you can work.
Will I get a fair disability hearing?
Like all types of employment there are good and fair judges and there are judges who are less likely to approve cases. In fact, your ability to win at your hearing could come down to the judge who has been assigned to your case.
With that in mind, however, the most important thing is to have evidence that your condition is severe, you cannot work your current job, and you cannot retrain for any type of other work.