As previous posts have mentioned, many, if not most applications for Social Security Disability Insurance and Supplemental Security Income benefits are rejected by the Social Security Administration or its state arm, Disability Determination Services. Previous posts have also discussed the time limits within which to request reconsideration or appeal a decision, as well as the greater general statistical probability of an application being approved by an Administrative Law Judge. However, applications don’t magically become better when viewed in a hearing setting. The applicant needs to be as prepared as possible to present the best case to the ALJ to increase the odds of approval.
While hearings in front of an ALJ are administrative, or “quasi-judicial,” and thus a bit looser in regard to evidentiary and witness testimony rules, there is still a formality and process which needs to be adhered to. The organized and logical preparation and presentation of evidence can go a long way toward being the difference between an approval and denial of an application. For example, how many people are prepared to cross-examine a vocational expert if one appears at an SSDI hearing?
Our law firm has experience gathering, organizing and presenting good documentary evidence of medically determinable conditions and how they may affect a person’s ability to engage in substantial gainful activity. We understand the process of how both SSA personnel and ALJs view the evidence that is submitted. At our law firm, we may even have some insight in the differences between how different ALJs in the same district conduct hearings. At our law firm we attempt to have clients prepare for questions.
While it is certainly possible for individuals to appear at, and win, a hearing or appeal of an SSDI or SSI denial, in many cases it may be prudent to consider getting more information. A visit to our law firm’s website regarding SSDI hearings and appeals may be a good first step.