It may be months--sometimes even years--before you are given the opportunity to fight for disability benefits in a hearing in front of an administrative law judge. You’ve waited far too long to let this opportunity go to waste--win your Social Security disability hearing with these helpful tips:
Gather Current Medical Records
You should never expect an administrative law judge to decide if you are disabled using outdated medical records. Before the hearing, it’s important to submit copies of your most recent medical records. In fact, the records should not be more than 90 days old. These records will give the judge a better idea of your current condition.
Look For Weaknesses in Your Case
Ask your attorney to identify weaknesses in your case prior to the hearing. The point of this exercise is not to get discouraged by these weaknesses, but to learn how to address them during the hearing. For example, the judge may wonder why your medical records show that you switched doctors multiple times within a short timeframe. Was it an issue with your insurance? Was one doctor more conveniently located than the other? Be prepared to address these weaknesses so you are not caught off-guard during the hearing.
Choose the Right Witnesses
The judge will allow you to call witnesses to the stand that can explain how your disability has impacted your daily life. There are probably multiple people in your life that can provide this information, but it’s important to take your time and choose the right one. Select a witness that is not afraid of speaking in public or to authority figures. You should also make an effort to choose a witness who is well-spoken and capable of clearly communicating his thoughts.
Then, review the questions that you plan on asking with your witnesses so they know what to expect. If you would like your witnesses to touch on something specific, make sure this is discussed ahead of time.
Be polite when communicating with other parties involved in the hearing and follow the judge’s directions at all times. Ultimately, the judge will issue a ruling based solely on the facts of your case. But, showing respect can keep you on the judge’s good side, which certainly cannot hurt your case.
Are you preparing for a disability hearing? If so, contact Armstrong & Vaught, P.L.C. as soon as possible. Don’t face the administrative law judge without one of our experienced attorneys by your side. Call us now at 918-582-2500, toll free at (800) 722-8880, or contact us online for a free consultation with a skilled attorney.