Ohio Social Security Disability And SSI Legal Blog

How can you prepare for your SSI appeal hearing?

Receiving a denial for SSI may feel like the end of the road, but it is far from that, actually. You can still appeal the decision.

However, it is important to go into the process of understanding as much as possible and preparing for the situation properly.

Appearing before a judge

Social Security’s site discusses the appeal process for benefit decisions. The first thing to understand is whether or not you will appear before a judge. In most cases, either you or your representative will have to. In some circumstances, it is possible to appear over the phone or via teleconference. It is up to the Agency to decide how you will appear before the judge.

If you cannot physically make it to your hearing, you must post to the office via written communication immediately. You cannot reschedule either 30 days after receiving notice or 5 days before the date, so you must explain why you cannot attend in the letter.

Finish requested medical exams

During the hearing, a judge will usually ask for you to have more medical exams done beforehand. The SSI will usually pay for these tests and exams, and will also schedule them for you.

The judge may also speak with medical and vocational experts about both your potential ability to work and your condition. You may ask for witnesses to attend the hearing, but you need to request them 10 business days before the hearing.

Presenting evidence and witnesses

You can present new evidence and ask the witnesses questions during the hearing, and the judge will also have questions for you and the witnesses. Though it is not formal, there will be an audio recording that you can request a copy of.