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What Happens at a Social Security Disability Hearing?

Even if you've watched a lot of courtroom dramas on TV, social security disability hearings are likely a little different from what you might expecting.

After you are sworn in (that part actually is just like on TV), the administrative law judge will usually begin asking you questions. Most of these questions will focus on your past work history.

In order to determine whether you could go back to a previous job or perform any other jobs in the national economy, the judge will want to know how strenuous your past work was. This means discussing things like how much you sit or stood, and how much you lifted.

Basically, these are all questions you should know the answer to. It's important to remember that the judge isn't really trying to trick you.

The judge will then ask you about your medical impairments and why you think you can't work. The judge will typically ask you to discuss your symptoms and what you do on a daily basis.

After this, your attorney will ask you additional questions to gather information that the judge may not have questioned you about, or to clarify statements that you made to the judge.

It's important to note here that some judges prefer that the attorneys begin the questioning, and then they follow-up with questions, but these judges seem to be in the minority.

Following questions from the judge and attorney, some judges have a medical expert testify as to whether you meet a listing for a disability recognized by Social Security.

More common is to have a vocational expert testify about whether in their opinion you could do your past job or any other jobs out there based on the medical records and your testimony.

Your attorney can also question these experts to garner testimony that will be more helpful to your claim.

The entire hearing usually takes about 45 minutes or an hour. Unfortunately, it's rare that you'll get a decision from the judge that same day. Typically, the judge will mail you a letter with his or her decision that you'll receive 60-90 days later.

MIDWEST DISABILITY office locations

Midwest Disability, P.A.
408 Northdale Boulevard Northwest
Coon Rapids, MN 55448
Toll Free: 888-351-0427
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