The Social Security Administration, often referred to simply as the SSA, is one of the biggest federal agencies in the country. In Alpharetta and all over Georgia, the SSA administers several programs to provide benefits for those who are disabled or in need of assistance, and the agency’s employees can even help people apply for benefits.
Unfortunately, people who do apply often have their claims for benefits denied, even after they request a reconsideration. Fortunately, there are still further options available in the form of a hearing before an administrative law judge.
To understand how an attorney can help at an Alpharetta Social Security disability hearing, it is helpful to understand how a hearing proceeds and what the SSA is looking for. A Social Security disability lawyer can help you demonstrate eligibility for benefits at a hearing in several ways.
The SSA’s Key Question to Answer
Through the hearing process, the SSA administrative law judge may ask many questions in an effort to answer one central question: whether the applicant qualifies for benefits under the agency’s established regulations. If an applicant satisfies the work credit requirements, the SSA then seeks to determine whether the applicant meets the agency’s definition of disability.
To be eligible for disability benefits, a worker must not be able to perform work done previously and not be able to adjust to a new kind of job because of their medical condition. In addition, the disabling medical condition must be expected to last at least one year or cause the applicant’s death.
In short, the SSA is looking for evidence to support a finding of total, long-term disability. Our legal advocates are experienced in working with the SSA and understand how to effectively demonstrate a level of disability that meets the agency’s standards.
The Role of an Attorney before a Social Security Disability Hearing
While a skilled advocate for the disabled may provide valuable assistance during a disability hearing before an administrative law judge, perhaps the most important function of good legal counsel actually takes place before the hearing. This function primarily takes the form of helping gather evidence to support the claim of disability by collecting and submitting medical records so that they are ready for the hearing.
It is almost always wise to have older records showing the extent of the disability as well as recent records demonstrating that the medical condition continues to render the applicant unable to work. A disability representative at our firm can also determine whether it would be a good idea to obtain additional tests and seek out supportive statements from physicians to enhance the viability of a claim.
A dedicated Social Security disability lawyer may also work to prepare the applicant for the hearing. For instance, a hearing claims advocate may discuss questions that are likely to be posed by the judge and counsel the applicant about information to have available.
An Attorney’s Role during an Alpharetta Social Security Disability Hearing
During a hearing regarding a denied Social Security benefits application, the applicant’s disability representative may serve many functions. They may serve as an advocate, speaking on behalf of the applicant and explaining arguments that may be difficult for the person to articulate themselves. In addition, the hearing advocate may also direct proceedings to a degree by asking the applicant questions in a manner designated to reveal key information, or by questioning expert witnesses in order to bring specified information to the judge’s attention.
Social security disability hearings can often involve complex arguments, but an experienced advocate for the disabled should understand these intricate points so they could effectively argue how your case meets one of the eligibility standards. For information about how an attorney can help at an Alpharetta Social Security disability hearing in your specific case, call today to arrange a consultation with a member of our team.