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4 things you should bring to a Social Security Disability hearing

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Social Security Disability payments benefit more than 10 million people every year. According to the Social Security, the average monthly payment for someone receiving disability in 2013 was $1,146.42.

As any Tennessee Social Security attorney has seen, many people are initially denied benefits and are forced to appeal the decision. There are several things an applicant can bring to a hearing in order to have the best shot of securing benefits:

  1. Medical evidence

Perhaps the most important item in any Social Security Disability hearing or application is the medical evidence that substantiates the claim. Social Security allows for applicants to present medical evidencethat is new prior to the hearing. However, the agency advises that applicants submit the information to the judge as soon as possible to ensure consideration.

  1. Copy of the application

As a Tennessee Social Security attorney may advise, people should bring a copy of their application to the hearing. While it is not required, it can give the applicant the necessary information to review, as a judge will be asking questions during the process. Those questions may include the following:

  • Information regarding the disability
  • Dates that an injury occurred
  • Any limitations that the injury has caused

Having the application handy can be helpful should there be a question that needs a specific answer.

  1. Witnesses

There are several other people that an administrative law judge may question during the hearing. For example, there is typically a vocational expert who can testify to the limitations or circumstances surrounding a disability.

An applicant may also bring other witnesses who can speak about the daily struggles that the disabled person faces. A co-worker could discuss the issues that occur in the workplace, and a roommate or spouse may be able to testify regarding the challenges that exist at home.

  1. Representation

Because the appeals process can be complex, an attorney is often helpful. Social Security points out that people who want to appeal a Social Security Disability decision may hire a lawyer and promptly alert the agency in writing. Further, the administration must approve the attorney's fee that will be charged.

Applicants may submit a brief either prior to or following the hearing. The brief can contain any supplemental information necessary to helping the case. Any post-hearing briefs may only be necessary if the judge needs clarification on a certain issue.

These benefits are crucial to those who depend on them, and a hearing is often the last way of securing disability. Anyone with questions regarding this matter should consult with a Tennessee Social Security attorney.

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