Getting approved for Social Security Disability Benefits, also known by the acronym SSDI, is not an easy matter. Most applicants are rejected at the the first and second stages of the process. Fortunately, you have the right to appeal a rejection by having your case heard by an Administrative Law Judge(ALJ). This article take as a look at some of the basic facts you need to know about an ALJ hearing.
Once your application is denied at the second stage, called the reconsideration stage, you then have 60 days to request an ADL hearing. After your case has been heard, the judge will decide on one of three possible verdicts: approving your application, denying your application, or sending the case back to the Social Security officials for further review. One positive aspect of ADL hearings is that applicant win their cases over 60 percent of the time.
Good preparation is essential to winning a favorable verdict in an ADL hearing. One key step is engaging an attorney experienced in these matters to represent you at the hearing. This will increase your chances of approval.
Make sure that you keep a diary of your daily activities. The judge will want to know what an average day is like for you. Also, make a list of your medications, and a list of things you are no longer able to do because of your disability. Bring a paper detailing your duties at all of your previous jobs over the last 15 years as well.
At the hearing, you will be sworn in and the judge will ask you some questions about what types of jobs you have done in the past and will also ask questions about your disability. The judge will also question a vocational expert about what types of jobs a person in your condition might perform. If you bring any witnesses with you to the hearing to support your case, the judge may question them as well. In some instances, a medical expert might be on hand to testify about your health issues based on your medical records.
Getting approval for SSDI benefits is a complicated procedure that is very difficult for the average person to achieve without professional assistance. If you choose to go it alone you may save money in the short run, but lose out in the long run by not being approved. For best results, contact a qualified disability lawyer with experience in SSDI case before attending any ADL hearing.