Can You Update Your Testimony After Your SSA Hearing?

Submitted by Kyle on Mon, 02/06/2012 - 09:33

When you are appealing the SSA’s decision to deny your disability benefits the process can be stressful and overwhelming. You may spend months or even years waiting for the date of your disability hearing to arrive and then when the day comes, you want everything to go perfectly. Understandably, you are likely facing a great deal of stress on this day and there may be things that you forget to mention to the administrative law judge during the course of your hearing. It isn’t until after the hearing has been conducted that you realize that you left these facts out and at that point you desperately want to notify the judge of the information that you forgot to provide during your testimony. Fortunately, there is a way to update your testimony after your disability hearing has been conducted. Even better, there is a way to prevent such a scenario from occurring altogether.

If you feel that there is information that the administrative law judge did not receive during your hearing, you need to contact your disability attorney as soon as possible. Any and all communication between you and the administrative law judge who is deciding your case should be handled via your Social Security Disability attorney. In most cases, the administrative law judges who preside over disability cases will not accept direct communication from applicants and if you try to send information on your own, the information is more than likely to be returned to you without review.

If you feel that information was left out during your hearing, discuss this fact with your attorney and ask whether the information you want to add will really have a significant impact on your case. The judges who handle these cases are very busy and do not want to be inundated with paperwork from applicants whose cases they have already heard. If the attorney feels that the information is not pertinent to your case or that it will not have an effect on the outcome, then it may be best to leave the case as it is and await the decision from the judge. Trying to add the information later may result in a delay of the judge’s decision, which means a delay in your disability benefits.

Hopefully, if you are working with a good Social Security Disability attorney, that attorney will ensure that all matters are addressed at the time of the hearing and that no additional information is needed once the hearing has been conducted. That is why legal representation is so important during the hearing stage of the appeal process. Your chances of being awarded Social Security Disability benefits as a result of this hearing are significantly increased when you have the guidance of a qualified disability lawyer. It is best to have all issues addressed during the hearing, not afterwards. Because you must wait months or years for this date to occur, you and your lawyer will have plenty of time to prepare for your hearing and you will know exactly what needs to be said when you stand before the administrative law judge who hears your case. Your Social Security Disability lawyer will be able to guide you through the process, making sure no questions go unanswered and that the judge has everything he or she needs to award you the disability benefits to which you may be entitled.