What to Expect During Your Social Security Disability Hearing
Protecting the disabled throughout Memphis, Jackson and West Tennessee
The Social Security Disability process can be overwhelming if you try to go through it alone. Filing an application is only the first step; next, you will have to attend a disability hearing – provided your application is not rejected. At Bailey & Greer, PLLC, we walk you through the process and represent you at your hearing. Our experienced team of Social Security Disability attorneys has assisted clients in Memphis, Jackson and throughout West Tennessee by providing practical guidance and compassionate support when they needed it most.
The pre-screening process
Because of the sheer number of SSD applicants in the country, it can take a long time for your particular application to reach the next stage. That is why the Social Security Administration developed a pre-screening process, known as the “pre-hearing interrogatory.” If the SSA Office of Quality Performance believes an applicant will be approved, then your file may be passed along for review to a medical expert; if that expert also agrees you should be approved, then your application may make its way to a judge who may or may not approve your benefits. If the judge grants your claim for benefits, you skip the hearing process altogether. If the judge does not grant your claim, then you proceed with an administrative hearing. Just because the judge did not grant your benefits right there does not mean your claim is denied; it simply means that you need to go through a hearing.
The administrative hearing
Many people think that hearing is like a trial, in that you may be asked to testify on your own behalf and sometimes witnesses are called. But an administrative hearing is NOT a trial; it is simply a way for a judge to determine whether or not:
- Your injury or illness is serious enough to keep you from working for at least 12 months
- Your injury or illness is recognized by the medical community and SSA as one eligible for benefits
- You are entitled to benefits based on your work history
Because you are in a hearing, as opposed to having your claim rejected, the chances are good that these factors have already been determined in your favor. The SSA judge, however, may have additional questions about your condition or your ability to work that were not or could not be fully explained on your application. If you are scheduled for a hearing, you will need to visit one of the five Office of Disability Adjudication and Review locations in Tennessee:
That is where we come in. As SSD lawyers, we help you prepare for these hearings by reviewing your application before it is filed and determining which areas and information are most likely to need additional explanation. We help you gather and understand the medical documentation needed during your hearing. We also help you practice speaking in front of a judge, so that your answers are clear enough to be picked up by the recorders in the hearing. Finally, we can file any post-hearing briefs that may be necessary in the future. If your claim is denied, we immediately begin working on your Request for Reconsideration as part of the appeals process.
Learn more about disability hearings from dedicated SSD attorneys
We know that you feel anxious – about your bills, about your medical treatments, and about your family. At Bailey & Greer, PLLC, we offer you practical guidance and personal support before, during and after your disability hearing. It is why so many people in Memphis and Jackson have recommended us to their friends and loved ones. Please call 901.475.7434 or fill out our contact form to sit down with a member of our team and discuss your claim for Social Security Disability benefits.