December 10, 2018

How do I prepare for the hearing?

Most individuals (at least 3 out of every 4) are going to be denied the first time they apply for SSDI or SSI benefits for a number of reasons. It could be due to a lack of sufficient medical evidence or that you listed numerous emotional, mental, or physical impairments rather than one major condition. Or, it could just be the fact that the adjudicator or judge has so many claims on his docket that he just randomly selected yours with numerous and denied it in order to lighten his work load and save time.

Don’t be discouraged if you are one of the 75% that gets denied right out of the chute because you have up to 4 opportunities to appeal denials. If you search the FAQ’s here on our site, you will see an article entitled “My claim was denied. Why?” you will find out the primary reasons that your initial application was denied. This will give you an idea of how to prepare for an appeals hearing at every appeals stage that could occur. Here are some further suggestions on how you can prepare for an ensuing SSDI benefits appeals hearing.

The most important consideration of any SSDI or SSI case is being able to prove that your condition is valid and that you cannot work as a result of it. Therefore, it is extremely critical that you always accumulate the most current medical evidence regarding your case as possible. Any additional medical records that you can round up will always help your case in any event.

You will most likely be notified of when your hearing is scheduled within 20 to 30 days of when you need to appear so that doesn’t give you much time to gather up the most current medical records relative to your claim. Don’t procrastinate on this. When you receive these records, make two copies of each document – 1 for you, 1 for your attorney, and 1 for the court. Just as a precautionary measure, making a few more copies of these documents is a good idea.

Another component of the preparation process that you should consider is obtaining any supportive documents that your doctor has completed relative to your particular case. You will also want to obtain medical records relative to your claim that other doctors in the past have treated you for. The bottom line is that you can never be over prepared for any SSDI claims hearing that you may have to deal with.