If you have been denied Social Security disability or SSI benefits and are appealing the decision at a hearing, there are steps you can take to ensure a favorable decision. You can win your Social Security appeal without hiring an attorney. When Social Security denies your application for disability or SSI benefits you have 60 days to file an appeal. In most states you will first file for reconsideration and your State’s Disability Determination Service will re-evaluate your case. If this reconsideration is denied again you will have another 60 days to request a hearing before an administrative law judge.
Hearings are held in Social Security’s Office of Hearings and Appeals. When this office schedules a hearing for you they will set up a time for you to appear before an administrative law judge to argue your case. At this hearing you will be able to present any new medical evidence you have to support your claim. You may also bring witnesses to speak on your behalf. This could include an attorney or disability representative. You are not required to hire an attorney or representative; however, if you choose to have representation this individual will receive 25% of your back pay should you win. Instead of having an attorney represent you, bring other qualified individuals to speak on your behalf. This can include your doctor, social worker, and family members. Your family members know the most about your disability. They know how it affects you on a daily basis. This testimony could be extremely valuable if you rely on your family members for daily activities such as bathing, dressing, and using the facilities. Organize your case before attending the hearing. You should know what you want to say and how you are going to say it. Don’t be afraid to use notes or an outline. Present your case in a logical manner with witnesses and medical evidence to support your argument and you will be well on your way to winning your Social Security Disability or SSI appeal. For more information on Social Security appeals visit Social Security Laid Bare using the link below. Louie Latour is the owner of Social Security Laid Bare, a free information resource to help people deal with the Social Security Administration. The site offers news, information, resources, and advice for those in need of Social Security Disability, SSI, retirement, survivor benefits, and Medicare. For more information visit Social Security Laid Bare at http://www.socialsecuritylaidbare.com
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