How Should I Prepare for My Social Security Disability Hearing in Albany?

It seems like you’ve been waiting forever to get the Social Security Disability (SSD) benefits you need to stabilize your life. You were denied, you’re appealing, and now you’re scheduled for a hearing in front of an administrative law judge (ALJ).

It’s normal to be nervous, both about your financial future and about appearing before a judge.

Most people applying for disability benefits have never stood before a judge before. You don’t know what to expect.

But if you’re well prepared, you can go in with confidence.

The disability law firm of James Trauring & Associates, LLC, supports you and gets you ready.

If you’re in Albany, Schenectady, Saratoga Springs or anywhere in Upstate New York, tell us about your case.

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What Will Your Social Security Disability Hearing Be Like?

A disability hearing is different from a court trial. There will be no witness stand, no jury, no attorney for the government and no spectators listening to your testimony.

Instead, you’ll meet in a room at a Social Security office with the ALJ, his or her assistant, and possibly a medical expert who’s there at the judge’s request and a vocational expert who will discuss your ability to do different types of work.

The hearing is surprisingly informal. The judge will ask you questions. Your lawyer will cross-examine the medical and vocational experts.

You can expect your Social Security Disability hearing to last under an hour.

Sometimes, the judge will tell you his or her decision at the hearing. Other times, you’ll receive notice of the decision later.

If you’re wondering how strong your case is, our legal team can evaluate your situation free of charge.

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How to Prepare for Your Social Security Disability Hearing

You’ll need to submit medical records and other evidence to the judge before the hearing. You’ll need to make sure your Social Security file is up to date. When you reach your hearing, you’ll need to present your argument for benefits, question the experts who testify and answer legal questions from the judge.

You’re not required to have a lawyer represent you, but you should. It’s the best way to make sure you’re fully prepared.

The government’s own data shows you’re almost three times more likely to win benefits at your hearing if you have a representative with you.

As soon as you contact us at James Trauring & Associates about your denial, we’ll spring into action by:

  • Updating your file with the Social Security Administration (SSA) to ensure your latest medical records are included.
  • Having your doctor provide a written statement that details your disability, your symptoms and side effects, and why they prevent you from working.
  • Writing a “brief,” which is a legal document stating why you can’t work.
  • Preparing you to give honest, thorough, convincing testimony during your hearing.

Getting ready is a lot of work you don’t need when you’re already dealing with health problems. But getting a lawyer to handle the work is low risk for you, because you’ll pay no legal fees until you win benefits. Even then, your lawyer’s pay comes out of any back pay you’ve accumulated, not future disability checks.

What Happens if I Don’t Win Benefits at My Social Security Disability Hearing?

  • Even if the ALJ turns you down again, all is not lost. You have additional appeals options, which James Trauring & Associates can help you with:
  • We can file for a Social Security Appeals Council review, asking the council to overturn the original ALJ’s decision and let you have a new hearing.
  • If the Appeals Council denies you, we can take your disability case to federal court.

This may be your first time going before a judge, but at James Trauring & Associates we’ve done it thousands of times.

Since you’ll never pay us a cent unless you win benefits, it just makes sense for you to call us. Let us help you prepare for your Social Security Disability hearing and give you a better chance of winning benefits.

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Preparing for Your Social Security Disability Hearing Infographic