It is quite common for applicants seeking Social Security disability benefits in Alpharetta to have their initial claims denied by the Social Security Administration or SSA. After a denial, the applicant may request a reconsideration of the claim by another SSA staff member, but reconsiderations also often result in denials.

The next stage in the process is a hearing before an administrative law judge who was not involved in the original case. Preparing for an Alpharetta Social Security disability hearing can be a daunting task, though, because a lot is riding on the outcome of the hearing.

While it is possible to continue the appeals process if the judge denies a claim, the factual record established in the hearing is important in how the case is viewed on appeal. For this reason, seeking professional assistance from a knowledgeable Social Security disability hearing lawyer may be a good idea.

Including Relevant Background Information

While an applicant may have a good chance of receiving disability benefits depending on their circumstances, it is wise to always approach a hearing in the right frame of mind. Since the SSA has previously denied the claim twice at this point, it is important for the applicant to establish reliability as a witness, especially since the judge typically must rely on the applicant’s veracity when it comes to subjective issues such as pain. It also helps for the applicant to demonstrate an interest in continuing to work rather than eagerness to collect benefits.

Many applicants find it helpful to learn as much as possible about the judge who will be hearing their case so that they will not be surprised if the judge asks many questions or virtually none at all. Most of all, the applicant should understand the key issue in their case and be able to clearly describe their disability and how it prevents them from working.

Steps to Take in Preparation for the Hearing

As part of the process of thinking through a disability and how it limits activities, a Social Security benefits applicant could prepare some detailed lists that could help demonstrate their level of disability during a hearing. These lists include:

  • All medications that relate to the disability, including dosage and side effects, even if they have been discontinued
  • Descriptions of job duties—including physical and mental requirements—for their most recent job, as well as any others in the past 10 to 20 years
  • Daily activities that are compromised or prevented due to the disability, such as carrying items, standing up, or sitting for long periods of time
  • All hobbies and other activities that can no longer be performed or enjoyed because of the disability
  • Descriptions of a typical day from waking until bedtime, including an assessment of sleeping quality, levels of discomfort, and medications taken for symptomatic relief

In addition, it is often helpful to be able to describe levels of pain on a scale of 1 to 10 when resting or undertaking certain activities. Being prepared to articulate these factors can substantially enhance the credibility of an applicant’s disability claim and eligibility for benefits. For help with preparing for an Alpharetta Social Security disability hearing, contact our dedicated SSDI law firm.

Professional Help with Preparing for a Social Security Disability Hearing in Alpharetta

An attorney with experience in SSA-related matters may be able to provide significant assistance in preparing for an Alpharetta Social Security disability hearing. A skilled SSD attorney may suggest actions such as keeping a diary of daily activities and may also be familiar with the particular traits and preferences of the judge hearing a particular case.

An SSA disability hearing is a formal legal proceeding and can be an intimidating process. Working with an experienced legal advocate in preparation or during the hearing itself could provide assurance that you are taking the best possible steps to reach a successful outcome. Call our firm today to speak with our intake team about your situation.

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