It’s frustrating when a claim for disability benefits is not successful. A denied claim is unfortunately common, and applicants may have to continue to pursue additional steps in order to secure the benefits they need and deserve. As part of the appeals process, you may have to attend an administrative hearing. It may be important to learn more about this step and what you can do to prepare.
After a denied claim, the applicant can take the first step in the appeals process, which is requesting a reconsideration of the claim. This is when the Social Security Administration looks at the claim again, including any of the documentation included. If the claim comes back denied a second time, it is possible to request an administrative hearing within 60 days of the second denial letter.
What happens at a hearing?
After you request a hearing, you will receive notice of the date and time the SSA scheduled your hearing. You will get at least 20 days’ notice to prepare for your time. These hearings do not typically take long, and an administrative law judge oversees the proceedings. During the hearing, the judge will listen to your explanation for why you are a deserving applicant for disability benefits. The SSA may also send expert witnesses and representatives.
As the claimant, you may be able to give testimony during the hearing, and you may call any witnesses and vocational experts who are there to validate the fact that your disability precludes you from holding substantial gainful employment. The judge may ask questions of you as well as any experts and witnesses from either side. After the hearing is complete, the judge will consider the testimony given, review the documentation included and send a written notice of the final decision.
Preparing for your hearing
It is not easy to successfully seek and secure disability benefits. For this reason, you will find it beneficial to work with an experienced Oklahoma attorney from the initial steps of preparing your application. Expert guidance can help you prevent missteps and errors that can delay your claim. If you did not have assistance with your initial claim, you will find it beneficial to secure it for any appeals steps that are necessary.
If you will need to attend an administrative hearing for your disability claim, preparation is crucial. Additional documentation, preparing statements and securing expert witnesses can give you a better chance of success. There is a lot on the line for you and your loved ones, and you do not have to walk through this process alone.