When you are unable to work due to a medical condition, physical limitation or sickness, it has a significant impact on your financial health. In addition to your physical suffering, you also have to worry about how your lack of income will affect your medical care, basic needs and even your family. You may know firsthand how important it is to secure disability benefits through the Social Security Administration.
It can be frustrating to learn that your claim for disability benefits was not successful. In fact, it can feel like a letdown, and you may be unsure of what to do next. Thankfully, you have the right to appeal and continue your fight for the support you need. As you walk through the appeals process, you may have to attend a disability hearing at some point.
When will a hearing happen?
Many initial disability claims come back denied. If yours was not successful, know that you are not alone. There are various levels of appeals you can go through, and the first step you will take is to seek a reconsideration of your claim. This means that the SSA will take another look at your application and the documentation you included and determine if you may be eligible for benefits.
If this does not work, you can then request a hearing with an Administrative Law judge. You must do this within 60 days of receiving notice of an unsuccessful reconsideration request. After that, the SSA will contact you regarding the time and location of your hearing. You should receive at least 20 days’ notice.
What happens at the hearing?
Every disability case is different, but this type of hearing gives you the opportunity to present your side of the story. You and any witnesses speaking will be sworn in, and you will be able to have doctors and other professionals testify on your behalf, specifically speaking to how your disability affects your ability to work. The SSA may have their own experts and witnesses to dispute your claim.
You may also have a time to directly address the judge. After this, the judge will take everything he or she has heard during the hearing and make a final determination regarding your disability claim.
Do you have to go through it alone?
You do not have to take any step of the disability application or appeals process alone. From the initial forms you have to complete to speaking for you at a hearing, you may benefit from having the assistance of an experienced and qualified Ohio disability attorney.