When you are unable to work because of a disability, you understand how important it is to secure financial support through a disability claim. These benefits from the Social Security Administration are for individuals who have a physical or mental condition that precludes them from holding gainful employment. There are strict eligibility requirements, and not everyone who applies will get them.
If you apply for disability benefits, it can be disheartening when your claim comes back denied. While this feels like a setback, there are still options available to you, including an appeals process. As part of this, you may have to attend a disability hearing. It is in your interests to prepare for this hearing, know what to expect and do everything possible to reduce your chance of a setback.
A disability hearing happens at the second level of the appeals process. If your request for reconsideration was not successful, you can move on to the next step, which is requesting a hearing. You will receive notice of when the SSA scheduled your hearing with at least 20 days’ notice. These hearings do not take long, but the implications are serious. Some things you can expect when you show up include:
- You will have to swear in as you will be giving a testimony before a judge. The same will apply to any witnesses who will be speaking.
- The judge will speak about your case, explaining the details and asking questions. Questions will likely pertain to how your injuries affect your ability to work and other areas of your life.
- The judge may ask witnesses and vocational experts about your case. He or she may speak to witnesses speaking on your behalf and on behalf of the SSA.
- You may ask for time to speak for yourself regarding your disability and how it impacts your daily life, including your ability to work and support yourself.
- After the hearing, the judge will review everything said and presented by you and the others. He or she will then issue a written statement regarding the final decision.
As you can see, there is a lot at stake during a disability hearing. When it comes to your financial future, there is significant benefit in working with an experienced West Virginia attorney at every step of the disability claims process. From the initial application through the final steps of the appeals process, you do not have to take one step alone.