Category Archives: All You Need To Know About Social Security

What Happens At Your Social Security Disability Hearing

So it’s finally time to have your social security hearing before the Administrative Law Judge.  Many people are very nervous about the hearing. This blog will help prepare you.  So sit back relax and take a deep breath.  I will tell you what to expect, who will be at the hearing, things you will want to do and things you will want to avoid.

Disability hearings are more informal than the typical court proceeding.  Your hearing room will most likely be a room the size of an average office.  The Judge will be seated at one side of the table.  Often times the Judges do not wear their robes for the Hearing.  You and your Representative will be seated on the other side of the table.  In a social security disability hearing there are only a few people in the room.  In addition to you, your Representative, and the Judge you will see someone operating a tape recorder.  There may also be a vocational expert and a doctor present.  You will have the opportunity to bring 1 or 2 witnesses and they will also be in the room.

The first thing you will want to make sure you do is Arrive On Time.  If you are late the Judge may not allow your case to be heard.   As a matter of fact it’s best to arrive early.  This will allow you time to find the room, speak with your representative and relax.  The Hearing begins with the Judge giving a brief overview of your disability claim and stating the issues to be decided.  The average Hearing lasts between 45 minutes to 1 hour.  However, a Hearing can be as short as 10 minutes or last over several hours.

Some Judges will ask you questions others will let your attorney ask you all the questions interrupting for clarification or additional information.  At this time you will be under oath and this is your opportunity to explain why you should receive social security disability.  When answering questions (even if the questions are posed by your Representative) be sure to fully answer the question.  Sometimes it may be tempting to skip information that you and your Representative have previously discussed.  Do Not skip information it is important the Judge hear the complete answer.  In general you should discuss your situation as if you were speaking to someone who doesn’t know anything about your case.

The Judge has discretion to decide if he will allow your witnesses to testify.  After your testimony any witnesses the Judge allows will be questioned.  Your witnesses are there to testify on any problems they have seen you have that would affect your ability to work.  Some people bring a doctor, a family member or a close friend.

Next, a doctor or vocational expert called by the Judge may testify.  Your representative will have an opportunity to cross-examine them.  Lastly, the Judge will ask if you have anything to add.  Do Not try to defend your entire case at this time.  Let your representative handle arguing case law. Your representative may make a closing argument at the hearing or submit one in writing.

The Judge usually does not give a decision at the end of the Hearing.  Typically, you will receive a decision in writing 1 to 2 months after the Hearing.  Now you know exactly who will be there, how long it will take and what will happen.

If you would like a helping hand navigating this process feel free to contact me.

Ambrose Law Group

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What To Do If You’re Denied Social Security

If you were denied social security disability there are steps you can take to have the decision reviewed. You also have the option to file a new application. This blog will show you how to appeal an unfavorable decision and teach you when to file an appeal verses a new application.

The bad news is that you were denied benefits the good news is you still have rights that can get you the money you need and deserve.

First you must request a review.  You can either write a letter or use the form provided by the Social Security Administration. The form is labeled HA-520 and here is the link:
http://www.socialsecurity.gov/online/ha-520.html

Please remember time is of the essence. You only have 60 days from the day you receive the denial notice to file an appeal.

There are 3 ways to file a request:

1.  File at any local social security office.
2.  File at a hearing office.
3.  Mail your request:
Appeals Council,Office of Disability Adjudication and Review,5107 Leesburg Pike, Falls Church, VA 22041-3255

Make sure to include the social security number

When you file an appeal you are allowed to submit new information. This can be helpful because sometimes with the first application there may have been medical records that could not be obtained in time. There may have also been errors in the records which hurt your case and they can be corrected and addressed in the appeal.

Now let’s take a look at filing a New application.  You are allowed to file a new application at any point. I suggest you only do this if you do not have the option to appeal.  Because when you file a new application you run the risk of losing some benefits.

This can be an overwhelming and stressful process.  If you want someone to take you through this process feel free to contact me.  There is never an upfront fee to you.

Katrinia M. Matthews
Non-Attorney Representative
for Ambrose Law Group
(248 )624-5500

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All You Need To Know About Social Security: Introduction

Over 70% of social security disability claims filed in Michigan are initially denied.  This is a very disheartening statistic. Often times people with disabilities are in the greatest need for financial assistance.  This assistance can make the difference between having food on the table or going hungry.  Not receiving the assistance a disabled person is entitled to can even hinder him from getting the needed medications to treat their condition.  Not getting the help needed becomes a vicious cycle.  People who are experiencing a disability have enough to worry about.  Disabilities can cause both emotional and physical problems that are overwhelming.

The good news is that help is available.  People with disabilities do not need to suffer alone.  Obtaining a trained professional to file your disability claim allows you to focus on something way more important than paperwork and red tape; your well-being.  Even if a disabled person made the mistake of not getting help at the beginning stages there is still hope.  If a claim is denied  an appeal can be filed.  Statistics show that applicants who have representation at the hearing before an administrative law judge are more likely to approved for benefits than those who try to help themselves.

Bottom line, get help early you do not need to fight the system alone.

Katrinia@ambroselawgroup.com

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