How To Prepare Yourself for a Social Security Benefits Hearing
By Anica Oaks
After you have spent months applying for your Social Security disability benefits, you now find yourself with a claim that has been denied. Yet rather than give up, you are now preparing to have a benefits hearing, where you will have a chance to state your case and get a ruling that’s in your favor. But to give yourself the best chance of winning your case, here are some things you should always do along the way.
Review Your Case File
Before your hearing date, always take time to review your case file and all letters you have received from the SSA. In doing so, you will have the details of your case fresh in your mind, lessening the chances you will be caught by surprise if asked certain questions.
Hire an Experienced Attorney
If you go into a benefits hearing on your own, chances are you will lose. Instead, it is always best to hire an experienced attorney who specializes in disability claims to handle your case, such as Todd East Attorney at Law. By taking this step as quickly as possible, your attorney can discuss your situation with you in great detail, explain various legal options, arrange for experts who can testify on your behalf, and accompany you to the hearing. By having your attorney with you at the hearing, they can guide you through the complex process and make sure your legal rights are protected.
Gather Your Medical Records
Since it’s your medical condition that is being called into question by the SSA, gathering up your most recent medical records prior to your hearing may be the difference between winning and losing. In many cases, those who have been denied benefits initially can present new evidence at their benefits hearing, enabling them to win their case.
Have Written Statements
When you are at your benefits hearing, having written statements from as many people as possible who are familiar with your condition is critical. However, don’t assume that only your doctors can provide written statements. In fact, written statements can also come from your family members and friends, your employer, a social worker, and others as well. As your lawyer will tell you, the more statements you have on your behalf, the greater the chances you will emerge a winner.
A complex and confusing process that often has many people giving up along the way, pursuing the disability benefits you deserve is critical to you and your family’s short and long-term plans. By hiring a skilled attorney and being well-prepared for your hearing, your chances of winning greatly increase.