If you’ve been denied Social Security Disability Insurance (SSDI) or Supplemental Security Income (SSI), you can appeal the decision and submit a hearing request. However, the appeals process can be complex and overwhelming.
At Pilzer Klein, we have over 50 years of combined experience representing clients in disability hearings in the Carolinas. Our Social Security Disability attorneys understand the challenges you face and will work to help you get your benefits.
What makes us different from other law firms is that we take time to prepare you for your hearing. We also take steps to reduce the cost of obtaining the necessary medical evidence. Call now for a free consultation, or continue reading to learn more.
What Is a Social Security Disability Hearing?
After receiving a denial notice from the Social Security Administration (SSA), you can appeal your denied SSDI or SSI claim before an administrative law judge (ALJ) at a Social Security Disability hearing.
You have 60 days to file a request for hearing, which could be in-person, a telephone hearing, or an online video hearing, depending on your preference and availability.
During your hearing time, you and your Social Security Disability lawyer will present evidence to support your claim for disability benefits. In addition, the ALJ will ask you questions about your medical condition, work history, and other relevant information.
As your legal representative, your Social Security Disability lawyer can craft a strategy to present your case effectively and persuasively, ensuring that all pertinent medical evidence and documentation are provided.
Your attorney will also prepare you for any questions the ALJ may ask, cross-examine vocational and medical experts if necessary, and make compelling legal arguments on your behalf.
The goal is to convince the ALJ that you meet the Social Security Administration’s criteria for disability benefits, helping you secure the financial support you need to cope with your disabling condition.
Why Do I Need an Attorney for My Disability Case?
Hiring an attorney for your disability case could significantly improve your chances of obtaining SSDI benefits.
Here are five reasons you should consider having an attorney represent you:
- Knowledge of the law and procedures: A Social Security Disability attorney has in-depth knowledge of the law, rules, and procedures governing disability cases. They know how to prepare your case, what evidence to gather, and what arguments to make.
- Ability to build a strong case: An experienced attorney can present your case in the best possible light. To do this, our disability lawyers will help you gather and organize necessary medical records, work history, and supporting documents, ensuring your application is comprehensive and well-prepared.
- Familiarity with the hearing process: An attorney who focuses on Social Security Disability law is familiar with the process and knows what to expect. They can help you prepare by explaining what will happen and what questions you may be asked.
- Cross-examination skills: The ALJ may question you or any witnesses you bring. For example, an attorney can cross-examine Social Security office witnesses and effectively argue against evidence or testimony that may harm your case.
- Ability to appeal unfavorable decisions: If your case is denied, your attorney can help you file an appeal and represent you throughout the appeals process. They can gather additional evidence, prepare written briefs, and represent you at additional hearings or appeals.
Having a skilled Social Security Disability lawyer can greatly improve your chances of success in getting benefits.
What Should I Expect at My Hearing, and How Can I Prepare?
If you have a Social Security Disability hearing coming up, it is essential to know what to expect to help you prepare. Here are some aspects of the hearing to familiarize yourself with:
- Administrative law judge (ALJ): An ALJ is a judge that the SSA has appointed to preside over the hearing. The ALJ will review your case and listen to your testimony and the evidence presented.
- Testimony: During the hearing, you will be asked questions about your medical condition and ability to work. Your lawyer will also be able to ask you questions to clarify your testimony.
- Witnesses: You may also have witnesses, including medical or vocational experts, testify on your behalf. These witnesses will be asked questions by the ALJ and your lawyer.
- Evidence: The ALJ will review your medical records, work history, and other evidence you and your lawyer provide. It is essential to have all the necessary documentation and evidence ahead of time.
- Decision: After the hearing, the ALJ will review all the evidence and decide. This decision will be sent to you in writing.
Our experienced Social Security Disability lawyer can help you prepare for the hearing, gather the necessary evidence, and effectively present your case.
What If My SSDI Claim Is Still Denied?
You still have options if your claim is denied at your hearing. First, you can request the Social Security Administration (SSA) Appeals Council review your case and their initial decision. However, it’s important to note that the Appeals Council doesn’t always grant an administrative review.
If the Appeals Council denies your request for review or upholds the decision to deny your claim, your next course of action is to file a lawsuit in a United States Federal Court.
This step is an appeal beyond administrative review and is not part of SSA’s appeals process. However, a federal court appeal is often required to get the benefits you need. During your federal court case, the judge will review your claim and make a final decision.
At this point and throughout your case, it’s crucial to have an experienced Social Security disability attorney on your side. Pilzer Klein has a proven track record of success in federal court, and we’re committed to fighting for our clients every step of the way.
Contact Our Social Security Disability Lawyer
While the resolution of your case can take time, it’s important to note that there are strict time limits for requesting a hearing or an Appeals Council review and filing a lawsuit. That’s why acting quickly and contacting Pilzer Klein as soon as possible is vital.
Our Social Security Disability lawyers have decades of experience appearing before the SSA’s hearing offices in the Carolinas. Our team will work to get you the benefits you deserve and protect your rights.
There is no fee unless you get your benefits, so you can hire us without risk. Contact us today to find out how we can help you get approved for disability.