What Happens After A Social Security Disability Hearing?
Unless formally instructed to submit further information or additional evidence in support of your claim, the only thing to do after a Social Security Disability hearing is to calmly wait for hearing officer’s decision.
If you disagree with the decision, you have the option to request a reconsideration determination, which is the first step in the appeals process. The reconsideration determination provides an applicant with a new and completely unbiased decision from an examiner who had nothing to do with the first decision.
Once the examiner makes a decision, you will receive a letter detailing the decision. If you still disagree with the decision, you can begin the appeal process.
The Social Security Disability Appeal
At this point, Social Security will assign an administrative law judge to your case. You can request a hearing online by downloading the appropriate forms through the Social Security Administration’s website.
The administrative law judge may question witnesses, doctors, or vocational experts in your case. This helps the judge establish the validity of your claim, and will better assist the judge in the decision-making process. Before the hearing itself, you have an opportunity to look over all the information and to submit any new evidence you would like the judge to consider. If you want to submit new evidence or information, you should do so as soon as possible to ensure the judge has a chance to review it. If you can, it’s best to send in new material and documentation at the same time you request your hearing.
If you are considering appealing your Social Security disability determination, it’s a good idea to work with an experienced lawyer. In most cases, individuals who represent themselves do not fare well. A Social Security lawyer can increase your chance of a successful outcome.
It’s also important to submit all requests and documents within the proper timeframe. According to the Social Security Administration, applicants normally have 60 days to request an appeal. In most cases, late requests are denied.
If You Are Unable to Attend Your Hearing
It goes without saying that appearing in person at the actual hearing is ideal. However, life happens, and you may be unable to attend. If you know in advance you will not be present at the hearing, you should let the Social Security Administration know at the time you request your hearing. You must also request a form HA-4608 from your local Social Security office, which requires you to list the reason you are unable to attend your hearing. Keep in mind, however, that the judge has the authority to make your personal presence mandatory.
About The Author:
Frank Ashton has been a practicing attorney since 1986. For over 25 years, Frank has focused his practice on personal injury, medical malpractice, nursing home negligence, products liability, social security disability, as well as auto and trucking accidents. For the past several years, Frank has been included in the list of the Best Lawyers in America.