Though many disabled individuals are able to obtain Social Security Disability benefits with few problems, for some claimants the process can be challenging and may require a Disability Hearing to determine whether benefits will be granted.
A Disability Hearing begins after an individual’s application to obtain Social Security Disability was denied by a state agency adjudicator; an evaluator who is assigned to review the case by the Social Security Administration. The adjudicator decides the case by reviewing medical records and information provided by the claimant.
A Disability hearing can be requested by the person who was initially denied Social Security Disability benefits. The hearing allows the individual to sit before an administrative law judge, whom is assigned to the case by the Social Security Administration. The judge is not bound to follow the decision of the state agency adjudicator and will consider the case as if it was new.
An individual may request that their lawyer be present at the Disability Hearing, although one can attend the hearing without legal counsel. In addition to hearing testimony from the individual on their disability, the judge may request testimony from medical and health professionals to gain more insight on the conditions affecting the person seeking Social Security Disability benefits.
The Disability Hearing focuses solely on the individual seeking Social Security Disability benefits and will require truthful answers as well as medical proof in relation to your disability. A judge will ask questions related to symptoms of the claimant’s condition, how it affects your ability to work, treatment received, medications the condition requires and what physical or mental limitations it imposes.
During the Disability hearing, a Social Security Disability claimant may be asked questions relating to their daily activities. Questions could focus on a claimant’s ability to drive, cook food, care for family members and themselves, run errands or clean the house. The ability to perform everyday activities may be used by the court to determine the individual’s level of disability or their ability to maintain gainful employment.
If testimony and medical records presented during the Disability Hearing indicate that benefits should be granted, the individual will begin receiving Social Security Disability benefits. If denied, the claimant may begin the appeals process, eventually requesting a decision by the highest courts with a Federal Court Review.