Tips for Preparing for a Social Security Disability Hearing

In many cases, it can take a person more than one appeal before their Social Security disability benefits are awarded. This can be due to a variety of reasons, such as improper evidence or paperwork or other more complicated issues. That is why Merryl Jones and her team from Second Chance Lawyer is here to help you with all of your social security disability filings and appeals.

Here are a few of the things to consider that will allow you to present the very best case for your next hearing!

Obtaining & Requesting Up-to-Date Medical Records

Since your request for disability benefits will rely heavily on your state of health and ability to work, obtaining up-to-date medical records is the most important part of filing for disability when presenting evidence at your hearing. Obtaining medical records, however, can often be easier said than done and can sometimes take a while, which is why working with a lawyer for social security disability appeal may be beneficial. They’ll know what to look for and can sometimes expedite the process. Merryl Jones and her team at Second Chance Lawyer can often obtain your medical records for free in the State of Texas.

There is a common misconception that the Social Security Administration (SSA) will obtain medical information on your behalf for your hearing; this is not always the case. That is why it is essential for those applying for benefits to have also done the groundwork and have their latest medical information available. Having up-to-date medical records has more to do with the date they were issued than the last time you saw the doctor. They need to be requested and issued, and then presented in front of a judge all within a specific time frame for them to remain relevant; otherwise your case could be denied outright.

Getting a Doctor’s Statement

Having a statement from your doctor pertaining to your disability will strengthen your chances of being awarded any benefits you deserve. This statement should be in the form of a detailed letter explaining precisely the activities you are unable to perform due to your disability, inhibiting your ability to work. These are considered “functional” limitations that will affect your job. Additionally, having friends, relatives, other health practitioners, and coworkers write similar letters on your behalf can often help strengthen your case.

Reviewing Your Case File

Prior to your disability hearing, the Social Security Administration (SSA) will allow you to review your case file. Taking a look at your case file can provide you valuable insight about the strength of your case once it appears in front of a judge. For those who have been denied disability previously, your case file should detail any missing paperwork, medical records, or errors that prevented you from being granted your disability payment.  Working with an experienced lawyer for Social Security disability appeal throughout this process will further strengthen your case by ensuring these details are addressed, and tying up any loose ends.

If Submitting/Requesting Updated Medical Records on Your Own, Remember:

  • Request them from all of your medical providers as soon as you learn the date of your hearing.
  • The hearing office is required to provide you with 75 days of notice prior to the hearing, so if you didn’t get that much time, it should be addressed immediately.
  • Upon receiving your updated medical records, keep one copy for yourself and submit the remaining ones to the hearing office.

A Few More Things Before You Go…

There are two different types of Social Security benefits that you can receive depending on your situation. The first is Social Security Disability Insurance, which is meant for those who have worked for many years and have paid into the Social Security system. The second is Supplemental Security Income which is available for those with limited resources. There are no tax or work requirements to receive this benefit.

Qualifying for Social Security Disability Benefits in Texas

Although the state doesn’t approve Social Security disability insurance solely on such a basis, there is a list of conditions that are commonly covered, such as:

  • You are disabled.
  • As of the date you became disabled, you must have worked under Social Security for at least five of the last 10 years.
  • You have earned sufficient work credits by paying Social Security taxes in the past.

What is the SSA’s Definition of “Disabled?”

When it comes to explicitly outlining the definition of disabled, according to the SSA, being disabled means when your mental or physical condition has prevented you from working for at least a year or more. In such cases, scheduling regular medical appointments and documenting your case is an absolute must if you plan on claiming disability.

What If I’m Denied Social Security Disability Benefits?

As mentioned above, there is a possibility that your claim could be denied. If it is, you’ll only have 60 days to respond and appeal your case. Even if your case is later denied by an administrative law judge, there are still options to appeal it, so don’t despair.

When Second Chance Lawyer works with you on your appeals case, we make it our duty to:

  • Prepare your testimony
  • Make helpful legal arguments before and during the hearing
  • Question witnesses
  • Understand your impairments
  • Analyze your Social Security file
  • Prepare your case
  • Obtain important evidence such as medical records
  • Cross-examine any medical and/or vocational experts who testify at your hearing
  • File appeals in a timely manner (if necessary)
  • Represent you at each stage of your claim

Let us be your lawyer for Social Security disability appeal!

For those just filing for disability or who want to appeal their cases, you likely have a lot of questions. Merryl Jones and her team at Second Chance Lawyer can help put your mind at ease, so contact us online today or call (254) 776-3611 (Waco) or (254) 493-0345 (Temple).

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