Do You Need Help Preparing for your Social Security Disability Hearing?
A hearing with a Social Security Disability administrative law judge (ALJ) could be your best chance to win disability income and reach a more peaceful time in life.
What’s different this time is that you’ll get the chance to talk directly with a person at Social Security who can make a decision about your benefits. It’s not all done by filing forms. You actually get to have a conversation.
So in your hearing, you have a lot at stake: your financial independence, and your best opportunity to be approved for disability checks and Medicare coverage.
You want someone knowledgeable helping you prepare. Social Security Disability attorney Angelina Valle has been helping people like you for over 32 years.
A government study found that people with representatives at their hearings are more than three times more likely to get awarded benefits.
And you pay no attorney fee until you win benefits.
The Social Security Disability legal team at Angelina Valle & Associates can help you in San Jose, Salinas and across the Bay Area when you face a hearing with a disability judge.
How Do You Prepare for Your SSD Hearing?
Most people don’t have much experience going in front of a judge—any kind of judge. It’s easy to get nervous.
But if you have backing from someone with extensive experience presenting claims to disability judges, you can rest easier and be yourself in your hearing.
A disability lawyer like Angelina Valle can get everything in order for you:
- Updating Social Security with your latest medical records
- Getting a new written opinion from your doctor on the severity of your condition
- Filing a “brief” with the judge that explains your arguments for disability benefits
- Preparing you to appear at your hearing—everything from the tone you need with the judge to the clothes you wear (relaxed but tidy)
- If your hearing will be by phone or video due to restrictions such as COVID-19, making sure you are set up for a clear, uninterrupted conversation
- Planning ahead for the questions you will likely have to answer
- Preparing to question medical or vocational experts who may testify about you
Some law firms, like large, national firms, might only connect you with a lawyer—or only connect you with a non-lawyer disability advocate—right before your hearing.
You want a disability attorney who gets to know you better, someone who puts real time and care into helping you prepare.
So when you go in, you’re not scared.
Instead, you’re ready to speak up for yourself and what you need for a more secure future.
If you have a hearing coming up, get a consultation on your disability case and what it will take to succeed at no cost to you.
What Happens During Your Social Security Disability Hearing?
Although the Social Security Disability hearing process involves going to a type of court, don’t get stuck on the idea that it will be anything like a TV courtroom drama.
A disability hearing is much more low key:
- Just a few people will be in the meeting. You, your lawyer, the judge, possibly an assistant for the judge and maybe a vocational or medical expert witness.
- It starts with your attorney and judge going over procedures. Angelina Valle will handle this part for you.
- The judge asks you questions. This is where you get to describe how your health problems have disrupted your life and your ability to work.
- A vocational expert could testify. This person could argue that based on your work background and available jobs in the economy, you could still work in some form. But your lawyer can ask them questions that challenge their conclusions.
- A medical expert could testify. This person comments on your medical status and severity of your condition. Your lawyer can cross-examine them, too.
- The proceedings will probably be short. Some hearings are as short as 15 minutes, some a little longer. But it’s not an all-day meeting.
- The judge tells you their decision, or waits to decide. You might find out in the hearing how the judge will rule on your benefits. Or you might get notice of his or her decision in the mail later.
You might wonder what kind of questions you’ll be asked when it’s your turn to talk.
Expect questions like these:
- Are you working right now in any way?
- What was your most recent work?
- What caused you to stop working?
- What are your health problems like?
- List your jobs over the past 15 years.
- Describe your daily routine.
- What are you able to do around the house?
You can go in to your hearing with confidence if you have prepared with the help of a caring disability lawyer.
You wait a long time to get your hearing. Let us help you get the best possible result.