You can appeal a decision after your initial application for SSD benefits was denied. The appeal process has several levels, including a hearing in front of an Administrative Law judge before approval.
The actual appeal process, however, takes 14-20 months. Unfortunately, there are a lot of disability benefits cases and not enough judges and decision writers to hear them and write decisions.
Scheduling and Attending Your Hearing
The Social Security Administration will send you a letter with details about your hearing’s date, time, and location. A judge has the right to dismiss a disability claim if you do not attend the hearing without a good reason. If there is a valid reason for the absence, contact a local Social Security office to reschedule.
If you have a Social Security Disability lawyer, the SSA will usually be in contact with your lawyer to schedule your case. SSD lawyers can help prepare you for your hearing by providing tips on what questions may be asked and how to tell your story well.
Social Security Disability Appeal Hearing
A disability appeal hearing can be in-person with the judge or through a video conference with the judge. If you have disability lawyers in Missouri, they will notify you of what type of hearing that will occur.
The judge will ask you how your disability has affected your daily life and your work life. Witnesses, usually vocational experts and sometimes medical experts, can be called to testify by the SSA. Social Security appeals hearings, however, are not often this straightforward.
You must avoid exaggerating your disability. Judges can sniff out people exaggerating about their medical history. Likewise, you should not understate your disability or limitations. If you do not accurately describe your disability, it will be harder for the judge to approve your disability benefits. Be sure to be clear and answer the whole question.
Jason Krebs meets with his clients personally several days prior to the hearing to go over their testimonies. Unfortunately, most disability lawyers in Missouri do not and meet their clients at the hearing office for the first time.
Post Appeal Hearing
Most appeal decisions are made 2-3 months after the hearing. The decision will come in a letter. If you are denied, your claim can be appealed through the Appeals Council.