If the SSA denies your SSDI claim, you have the right to file an appeal by requesting an Administrative Law Judge (ALJ) hearing. Atrial fibrillation, which can speed up your heartbeat to as fast as 175 beats a minute, can cause you to miss a substantial amount of time at work.
An Overview of an ALJ Hearing
With your financial future on the line, having an SSDI claim denied by the SSA can seem like the end of the world. Rapidly mounting medical bills and failing to take care of daily living expenses can bring down the most resilient SSDI applicants.
The SSA created the ALJ hearing process to allow SSDI claimants get a second chance to make a persuasive first impression. An SSDI application does not involve any one-on-one interviews. In fact, everything concerning the SSDI claims process is done through the submission of documents either in paper form or digitally online.
An ALJ hearing provides you with the opportunity to make your SSDI benefits case in person in front of an administrative law judge.
To start the ALJ hearing process, you need to visit the nearest Office of Disability Adjudication and Review (ODAR) to submit a formal request for a hearing. Since nearly 66 percent of SSDI claims come back denied, there is a considerable backlog of ALJ hearing requests.
An accomplished Social Security lawyer can help expedite your request for an ALJ hearing by contacting the ODAR on a consistent basis. If you receive approval to move forward with an ALJ hearing, you should start preparing immediately by gathering more evidence than the evidence you submitted with your SSDI benefits claim.
How to Win Your SSDI Benefits Appeal
Typical legal cases involve two teams of litigators going back and forth arguing for their clients. An ALJ hearing is a different legal scenario, as an administrative law judge asks all the questions.
However, you can boost the credibility of your case by working with an accomplished Social Security attorney who knows how to help clients receive the SSDI benefits they deserve. Your lawyer might recommend filing a legal brief with the court before the hearing that explains the details of your case.
With a legal brief in hand, the judge overseeing your case has a good idea about the legitimacy of your appeal. Submit the legal brief at least 10 days before the scheduled hearing to ensure the judge has enough time to prepare for it.
You also should submit more evidence that backs up your claim that atrial fibrillation has forced you to leave your job. The key to winning an SSDI benefits appeal is to link your medical condition with the inability to hold down a full-time job.
Come to the Hearing Supported by Legal Counsel
Working with a disability attorney gives the legal support you need to present the most convincing evidence. Your lawyer also acts as a buffer between you and the administrative law judge.
The key is to prove the symptoms you suffer from because of atrial fibrillation exceed the minimum standards for symptoms as listed for atrial fibrillation in the SSA Blue Book.