When you reach the hearing stage of the disability claim process, you should understand what will happen at the hearing. Unlike a formal courtroom trial, the disability hearing will be held in front of an administrative law judge. The hearing is non-adversarial, meaning there is no opposing counsel there to argue against you. It is just you, your St. Louis Social Security disability attorney, the administrative law judge, and any witnesses you have brought.
Primary Goal of the Hearing
The goal of the hearing is for the judge to act as a neutral fact-finder and determine if you meet the requirements for disability under Social Security regulations. Disability benefits are granted to approximately 60 percent of claimants who reach the hearing level, though your St. Louis Social Security disability attorney can give you more accurate information for your district. Some judges are more generous than others, so even if you think you have a good case, it is no guarantee.
Before the hearing, your St. Louis Social Security disability attorney will compile and collect any evidence related to your impairment such as medical records, medical opinions and witness testimony that illustrates your impairment. Your attorney will also try to have witnesses testify at your hearing to support your story. If there are witnesses called by the administrative law judge, your attorney may need to cross-examine them.
Keep in mind that even if the judge seems to disagree with you or be skeptical of your claims, the judge is not your adversary. Do not treat the judge as an enemy. Just think about presenting your case in the best light possible.
Contact A St. Louis Social Security Disability Attorney
To find out more about how to prepare for your disability hearing, contact a St. Louis social security disability attorney. Call David M. Hicks at (314) 812-4885 or (618) 343-0901.