5 Social Security Disability Hearing Questions Answered by Blair Biser

North Carolina Board Certified Specialist, Blair Biser, answers five questions concerning Social Security disability hearings.

1. Will I have to go to court if I request a hearing?
You will not be going into a formal courtroom setting. Your hearing will most likely be at your regional Office of Hearings and Appeals. These offices have several rather small hearing rooms.

2. Who will be at the hearing?
There will always be at least two other people besides you and your representative at a hearing. The judge will of course be present to hear your testimony. In addition, a clerk will be in the hearing room to make a recording of the hearing and to deal with any evidence that you may need to submit.In some cases, a judge will ask a vocational expert and/or a medical expert to testify

3. What will the judge ask me at a hearing?
Different judges ask different questions at hearings. Each judge has his or her own style of asking questions. However, most judges are trying to get the same information. The judges want to know how your impairment affects your ability to work. He or she will ask you about your daily activities, how much pain you experience and generally how your impairment affects you.

4. What sort of evidence will I present at the hearing?
Besides testifying for the judge, you should present any medical evidence that Social Security has not already gotten on its own. Typically, the hearings offices prefer that any new and additional evidence be submitted at least a week before the date of the hearing.

5. Can I have a witness testify on my behalf?
Yes. However, if someone testifies about your condition, it is best if that person is not a close friend or family member since a judge would expect such a person to be biased. However, if your condition is such that you are unable to describe the effects (for example, seizures during which you black out), then a family member would be the best witness to describe the condition.

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