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What should I expect during my disability hearing?

If you are trying to get disability through Social Security, your attorney can explain the process you will undergo. Regardless, every Social Security disability hearing is different. Depending on the complexity of your case, your disability hearing might involve testimony given by you and other witnesses; testimony given by a vocational expert; and/or testimony by a medical expert. It may also involve your being questioned along with your representative.

At the beginning of your disability hearing, you and any other witnesses and experts will be sworn in by a court reporter. The judge will introduce your case and explain the factors relating to it before questioning you and the witnesses. The questions will relate to your ability to work and medical condition(s). A neutral expert witness like a vocational expert or physician might also be questioned by the judge.

Neutral vocational experts often play an important role in Social Security disability hearings because they can answer questions about what kinds of work a person with a disability like yours can still perform.

In the event that you are not asked to answer any questions during the course of your hearing, you might still be able to speak on your own behalf — or let your representative speak for you. You will also be permitted to submit evidence and question the witnesses who testify in your case. Social Security hearings are informal, but everything that is said by you and all witnesses is under oath and recorded. It is imperative to be truthful and forthcoming at all times.

Finally, the judge will review all testimony and evidence introduced during your hearing. Later, he or she will make a decision in writing on your matter. Even if you receive an unfavorable outcome, you may still be able to request that your claim be reconsidered in an appeal.

Source: FindLaw, "What Happens at a Disability Hearing?," accessed Sep. 18, 2015

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In Minnesota, we handle Social Security Disability Insurance (SSDI) claims. Throughout the nation, we handle SSDI applications and appeals for people from Ohio to Kansas, North Dakota to Texas and everywhere in between.

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