If you are unable to work because of breast cancer, you will start your disability claim with the Social Security Administration (SSA). Only 34 percent of disability claims are approved during the initial application process and review.
If your claim is denied, you can request a hearing before an administrative law judge (ALJ). Almost 50 percent of claims are approved when they reach the hearing level, so it is worth requesting a hearing. A disability lawyer can help you with your claims process.
What To Expect From A Hearing
If your claim is denied during the initial review and you go for an ALJ hearing, you will be questioned by the judge. You will be asked about your condition, its symptoms, your treatment, and how you are limited in your daily activities and your ability to work.
When you respond to these questions, you should answer them truthfully and in detail. There will be expert witnesses or vocational experts in attendance, and they will review your medical records, listen to your testimony, and then tell the judge what kind of work – if there is any work – that you can do.
When you respond to the questions, tie your symptoms into how they affect your ability to work. For example, if you have breast cancer and are undergoing chemotherapy, you may experience nausea, fatigue, and weakness.
If you work in a factory, you will not be able to stand long periods, or bend, lift, and grasp repeatedly. Make sure you have all your medical documentation in order and be prepared to respond to any questions. Your attorney can speak on your behalf and may ask additional questions.
Tips For Success At An ALJ Hearing With Breast Cancer
When you go to your ALJ hearing, you should arrive at least 30 minutes early. If you are late, the judge can dismiss your claim. You should practice responding to questions before you arrive at the hearing, and that will help you with your responses.
Make sure you have all your medical records in order, so they can be reviewed by the ALJ and the vocational expert or expert witness.
Be sure to explain your medical problems in detail and make sure you detail the severity of the condition, your symptoms, and your limitations and your restrictions. Be ready to respond to any questions about gaps in your medical history or medical care.
You should be prepared to give a run down of your day-to-day activities with breast cancer. If you get chemotherapy, explain the process and the time that it takes to get treatments and how you are affected.
Having An Attorney On Your Side Helps
If you are requesting an ALJ hearing for disability benefits with breast cancer, you should enlist the help of a disability lawyer. Disability lawyers take cases on a contingency basis, which means that your lawyer will not be paid until you win your claim and are approved for disability benefits. Complete the Free Case Evaluation Form today.