Hearing Process

Denied Benefits

Have You Been Denied the DIB or SSI Benefits That You Rightfully Deserve?

In such a situation, you will definitely need an experienced attorney to guide you on how to reapply for your benefits or ask for reconsideration. Trust our attorney to help you get through the whole process smoothly. Call us to schedule an appointment.

Disability

Experienced Attorney to Represent You in Your Disability Hearings

If you need an experienced attorney to represent you in your Social Security Disability hearing, Drew L. Johnson, P.C. is the right choice for you. Rely on our attorney to aggressively fight for your Social Security Disability benefits that you are entitled to.

Important Things Related to DIB or SSI Benefits or Claims

What can I do if I am denied benefits?

What can I do if I am denied benefits?

 

Many people do not get benefits when they first apply, but do not be discouraged. You can often get benefits by appealing and having a Social Security hearing.
Most people are denied benefits because the SSA thinks:
  • The evidence does not show a serious enough medical problem
  • The disability won’t last 12 months or
  • The person can do some type of work even if it is not their regular work
If you think Social Security was wrong in denying you DIB or SSI benefits you can fight the decision by:
1) Asking for a reconsideration and (if you are again denied)
2) Asking for a hearing. (You have to go through reconsideration before you can ask for a hearing.)
How do I ask for reconsideration?
To get the SSA to reconsider your claim you must write the local Social Security office within 60 days of the denial of benefits. You must also sign and give SSA a form entitled “Request for Reconsideration.”
Your case will be reviewed again and you will be notified by mail of the decision. Most of the time, you will again be turned down.
Do not be discouraged if your claim is denied at first or on reconsideration. Many people win their cases at hearing.
How do I ask for a hearing?
If your request for reconsideration is denied, you can appeal the decision by asking for a hearing.
The hearing is your chance to explain your situation face-to-face to someone who can grant you benefits. Your lawyer represents you at the hearing. Many people win benefits after the hearing, so it is worth trying.
If you do not appeal your case you can apply again later, but you might no longer be eligible for benefits or you might get a smaller amount of retroactive benefits. You must ask for a hearing in writing within 60 days of the date of denial of reconsideration.

Information on Disability Hearings

When and where will the hearing be?
After you request a hearing, it often takes 18 months for the Social Security hearings offices in Oregon to set a hearing date. Social Security will tell you the date and place of your hearing at least 20 days in advance.
The hearing will usually be held within 75 miles of your home. If the hearing is held more than 75 miles from your home, you can be paid for travel expenses.
What happens at the hearing?
An administrative law judge will run the hearing. The judge’s job is to make an independent decision based on the evidence in your case.
This evidence includes medical records, other documents, and testimony you and others give at the hearing. The judge and your attorney will ask you about your disability. The hearing is private and is held in a small conference room.
Those at the hearing will be the judge, the judge’s assistant, you, and your representative. The judge will usually also ask a “vocational expert” to testify and sometimes ask a “medical expert” to testify. The hearing will be recorded.
Can I be represented at the hearing?
Can I be represented at the hearing?
 
You can go to the hearing with a lawyer. You do not have to have a lawyer, but if you can get a lawyer to represent you, you have a better chance of winning. It is important to obtain an attorney with experience in representing Social Security disability claimants.
You should ask the attorney how many years of experience he or she has with Social Security representation and how many hearings he or she has handled.
An attorney can help you with:
  • Gathering medical and other evidence
  • Answering any questions you may have about the claims process
  • Analyzing your case under Social Security regulations
  • Contacting your doctors and explaining Social Security regulations to obtain a report consistent with the regulations
  • Suggesting that SSA sends you to a doctor for a consultative examination.
  • Obtaining and reviewing a copy of your Social Security file
  • Reviewing actions taken by SSA
  • Asking that a prior application for benefits be reopened to obtain more retroactive benefits for you
  • Seeking waiver of a time limit
  • Meeting with you prior to your hearing to advise you on how to best prepare for, and present yourself at your hearing
  • Advising you about the particular judge who will conduct the hearing
  • Protecting your right to a fair hearing by objecting to improper evidence and procedures
  • Cross-examining adverse witnesses at your hearing
  • Presenting a closing argument at your hearing
  • If you win, making sure that SSA is paying you the appropriate amount of benefits
  • Advising you about medical coverage
  • If you lose, requesting an appeal of your case to the Appeals Council
  • If necessary, representing you in a federal court review of your case
An attorney will usually expect a fee for representing you, and normally you will be charged a fee only if you win your case. The fee must be approved by the Social Security Administration and is in the amount of 25% of your back benefits.
Talk to the lawyer about the fees when you first contact the attorney. Make sure you understand and agree to any fee agreement you sign.
You will also be responsible for what are called “out of pocket” costs of your case whether you win or lose. These costs usually involve charges by medical providers for copying costs or letters and in a typical case is less than $100.00.

Denied Benefits

Have You Been Denied the DIB or SSI Benefits That You Rightfully Deserve?

In such a situation, you will definitely need an experienced attorney to guide you on how to reapply for your benefits or ask for reconsideration. Trust our attorney to help you get through the whole process smoothly. Call us to schedule an appointment.

Important Things Related to DIB or SSI Benefits or Claims

What can I do if I am denied benefits?

What can I do if I am denied benefits?

 

Many people do not get benefits when they first apply, but do not be discouraged. You can often get benefits by appealing and having a Social Security hearing.
Most people are denied benefits because the SSA thinks:
  • The evidence does not show a serious enough medical problem
  • The disability won’t last 12 months or
  • The person can do some type of work even if it is not their regular work
If you think Social Security was wrong in denying you DIB or SSI benefits you can fight the decision by:
1) Asking for a reconsideration and (if you are again denied)
2) Asking for a hearing. (You have to go through reconsideration before you can ask for a hearing.)
How do I ask for reconsideration?
To get the SSA to reconsider your claim you must write the local Social Security office within 60 days of the denial of benefits. You must also sign and give SSA a form entitled “Request for Reconsideration.”
Your case will be reviewed again and you will be notified by mail of the decision. Most of the time, you will again be turned down.
Do not be discouraged if your claim is denied at first or on reconsideration. Many people win their cases at hearing.
How do I ask for a hearing?
If your request for reconsideration is denied, you can appeal the decision by asking for a hearing.
The hearing is your chance to explain your situation face-to-face to someone who can grant you benefits. Your lawyer represents you at the hearing. Many people win benefits after the hearing, so it is worth trying.
If you do not appeal your case you can apply again later, but you might no longer be eligible for benefits or you might get a smaller amount of retroactive benefits. You must ask for a hearing in writing within 60 days of the date of denial of reconsideration.

Disability

Experienced Attorney to Represent You in Your Disability Hearings

If you need an experienced attorney to represent you in your Social Security Disability hearing, Drew L. Johnson, P.C. is the right choice for you. Rely on our attorney to aggressively fight for your Social Security Disability benefits that you are entitled to.

Information on Disability Hearings

When and where will the hearing be?
After you request a hearing, it often takes 18 months for the Social Security hearings offices in Oregon to set a hearing date. Social Security will tell you the date and place of your hearing at least 20 days in advance.
The hearing will usually be held within 75 miles of your home. If the hearing is held more than 75 miles from your home, you can be paid for travel expenses.
What happens at the hearing?
An administrative law judge will run the hearing. The judge’s job is to make an independent decision based on the evidence in your case.
This evidence includes medical records, other documents, and testimony you and others give at the hearing. The judge and your attorney will ask you about your disability. The hearing is private and is held in a small conference room.
Those at the hearing will be the judge, the judge’s assistant, you, and your representative. The judge will usually also ask a “vocational expert” to testify and sometimes ask a “medical expert” to testify. The hearing will be recorded.
Can I be represented at the hearing?
Can I be represented at the hearing?
 
You can go to the hearing with a lawyer. You do not have to have a lawyer, but if you can get a lawyer to represent you, you have a better chance of winning. It is important to obtain an attorney with experience in representing Social Security disability claimants.
You should ask the attorney how many years of experience he or she has with Social Security representation and how many hearings he or she has handled.
An attorney can help you with:
  • Gathering medical and other evidence
  • Answering any questions you may have about the claims process
  • Analyzing your case under Social Security regulations
  • Contacting your doctors and explaining Social Security regulations to obtain a report consistent with the regulations
  • Suggesting that SSA sends you to a doctor for a consultative examination.
  • Obtaining and reviewing a copy of your Social Security file
  • Reviewing actions taken by SSA
  • Asking that a prior application for benefits be reopened to obtain more retroactive benefits for you
  • Seeking waiver of a time limit
  • Meeting with you prior to your hearing to advise you on how to best prepare for, and present yourself at your hearing
  • Advising you about the particular judge who will conduct the hearing
  • Protecting your right to a fair hearing by objecting to improper evidence and procedures
  • Cross-examining adverse witnesses at your hearing
  • Presenting a closing argument at your hearing
  • If you win, making sure that SSA is paying you the appropriate amount of benefits
  • Advising you about medical coverage
  • If you lose, requesting an appeal of your case to the Appeals Council
  • If necessary, representing you in a federal court review of your case
An attorney will usually expect a fee for representing you, and normally you will be charged a fee only if you win your case. The fee must be approved by the Social Security Administration and is in the amount of 25% of your back benefits.
Talk to the lawyer about the fees when you first contact the attorney. Make sure you understand and agree to any fee agreement you sign.
You will also be responsible for what are called “out of pocket” costs of your case whether you win or lose. These costs usually involve charges by medical providers for copying costs or letters and in a typical case is less than $100.00.

Hearing Preparations

Thorough Social Security Disability Hearing Preparation

Let the legal professional at Drew L. Johnson, P.C. represent you in your Social Security Disability hearing. Trust our attorney to thoroughly prepare for the hearing and represent you in the best possible way in the courtroom.

Testimony

Trustworthy Testimony for Your Disability Hearing

Having trustworthy testimonies for your Social Security hearing will help you build a strong case. The attorney at Drew L. Johnson, P.C. can guide and help you understand the essential documents and testimonies for your disability hearing.

Preparing for a Disability Hearing

Should I prepare for the hearing?
It is usually very important to prepare for a Social Security hearing. Your chances of winning the hearing are much better if you take time before the hearing to:
  • Provide information about your current medical providers, medications, and asking your doctors their opinions
  • Think about the testimony you will give
  • Ask witnesses to write letters about your disability
It is part of the attorney’s job to take care of these things.
What evidence do I present at the hearing?
You need to prove that you have a serious medical problem that has lasted or that will last for at least 12 months, or will result in death, and that keeps you from working on a full-time basis. You do this with:
  • Medical and other written evidence
  • Your testimony
What kind of medical evidence do I need?
SSA helps you gather medical information for your case, but sometimes they do not have all the medical information that is available. It is important that your file has all of the medical information in your case (from your treating doctor, medical specialists who have seen you, any hospital records, etc.).
If you think there is anything else the judge should see before making a decision in your case, you can ask the judge if you can add that information after the hearing.

What Will I Testify About at the Hearing?

Medical Information

1. Medical Condition

 

You will be asked how your medical condition makes you feel. You should tell the judge about the symptoms you experience such as pain, dizziness, numbness, nausea, or paralysis as well as you can.
For example, if your case involves pain, you might be asked:
Is the pain burning, stabbing, crushing, sharp, throbbing, radiating or aching?
  • Do your activities affect the pain?
  • What do you do to relieve pain?
  • What medicine do you take for pain?
  • How well does the medication work?
  • Are there any side effects from the pain medication?
Before the hearing, you should make notes to yourself about what conditions you have and how they affect you. Do not leave anything out.
2. Medical History
 
You will be asked how you how often you see your doctor, what sort of treatment your doctor provides, and what medication you are presently taking, how often you take each medication and whether there are any side effects.
You may also be asked to describe the symptoms and treatment of your medical condition since it began. You may be asked what your doctor has told you about your problem, but the judge will not ask you medical questions about your disability.
3. Physical Abilities
 
If you have a physical disability, you will be asked questions about what you are able to do. For example:
  • How far you can walk before resting?
  • How long you can sit and stand at one time during an eight-hour day?
  • How much you can lift?
4. Mental Abilities
 
You will be asked about your ability to understand, carry out, and remember instructions, to use good judgment, to respond appropriately to supervision, coworkers, usual work situations, and changes in your work setting.
Education, Training, & Work
5. Education and Training
 
You will be asked how far you went in school, if you have had any training in the military, if you can read and write, and if you have had any job training.
6. Work Experience
 
You will be asked about the jobs you have had during the past 15 years. If your condition caused you to miss a lot of work or caused you to stop working, you should explain this.
Daily Activities
7. Daily Activities
 
You will be asked questions to find out how your disability affects you. For example:
  • How do you spend your time during the whole day?
  • How well you usually sleep?
  • Do you lie down during the day?
  • What things you do around the house such as cooking, housework, or gardening?
  • Do you go shopping?
  • Do you drive a car?
  • What hobbies and activities do you have?
You may also be asked how your daily routine has changed since you became disabled. For example, what kinds of activities did you do before you became disabled that you cannot do now?

Hearing Preparations

Thorough Social Security Disability Hearing Preparation

Let the legal professional at Drew L. Johnson, P.C. represent you in your Social Security Disability hearing. Trust our attorney to thoroughly prepare for the hearing and represent you in the best possible way in the courtroom.

Preparing for a Disability Hearing

Should I prepare for the hearing?
It is usually very important to prepare for a Social Security hearing. Your chances of winning the hearing are much better if you take time before the hearing to:
  • Provide information about your current medical providers, medications, and asking your doctors their opinions
  • Think about the testimony you will give
  • Ask witnesses to write letters about your disability
It is part of the attorney’s job to take care of these things.
What evidence do I present at the hearing?
You need to prove that you have a serious medical problem that has lasted or that will last for at least 12 months, or will result in death, and that keeps you from working on a full-time basis. You do this with:
  • Medical and other written evidence
  • Your testimony
What kind of medical evidence do I need?
SSA helps you gather medical information for your case, but sometimes they do not have all the medical information that is available. It is important that your file has all of the medical information in your case (from your treating doctor, medical specialists who have seen you, any hospital records, etc.).
If you think there is anything else the judge should see before making a decision in your case, you can ask the judge if you can add that information after the hearing.

Testimony

Trustworthy Testimony for Your Disability Hearing

Having trustworthy testimonies for your Social Security hearing will help you build a strong case. The attorney at Drew L. Johnson, P.C. can guide and help you understand the essential documents and testimonies for your disability hearing.

What Will I Testify About at the Hearing?

Medical Information

1. Medical Condition

 

You will be asked how your medical condition makes you feel. You should tell the judge about the symptoms you experience such as pain, dizziness, numbness, nausea, or paralysis as well as you can.
For example, if your case involves pain, you might be asked:
Is the pain burning, stabbing, crushing, sharp, throbbing, radiating or aching?
  • Do your activities affect the pain?
  • What do you do to relieve pain?
  • What medicine do you take for pain?
  • How well does the medication work?
  • Are there any side effects from the pain medication?
Before the hearing, you should make notes to yourself about what conditions you have and how they affect you. Do not leave anything out.
2. Medical History
 
You will be asked how you how often you see your doctor, what sort of treatment your doctor provides, and what medication you are presently taking, how often you take each medication and whether there are any side effects.
You may also be asked to describe the symptoms and treatment of your medical condition since it began. You may be asked what your doctor has told you about your problem, but the judge will not ask you medical questions about your disability.
3. Physical Abilities
 
If you have a physical disability, you will be asked questions about what you are able to do. For example:
  • How far you can walk before resting?
  • How long you can sit and stand at one time during an eight-hour day?
  • How much you can lift?
4. Mental Abilities
 
You will be asked about your ability to understand, carry out, and remember instructions, to use good judgment, to respond appropriately to supervision, coworkers, usual work situations, and changes in your work setting.
Education, Training, & Work
5. Education and Training
 
You will be asked how far you went in school, if you have had any training in the military, if you can read and write, and if you have had any job training.
6. Work Experience
 
You will be asked about the jobs you have had during the past 15 years. If your condition caused you to miss a lot of work or caused you to stop working, you should explain this.
Daily Activities
7. Daily Activities
 
You will be asked questions to find out how your disability affects you. For example:
  • How do you spend your time during the whole day?
  • How well you usually sleep?
  • Do you lie down during the day?
  • What things you do around the house such as cooking, housework, or gardening?
  • Do you go shopping?
  • Do you drive a car?
  • What hobbies and activities do you have?
You may also be asked how your daily routine has changed since you became disabled. For example, what kinds of activities did you do before you became disabled that you cannot do now?

Post Hearing

Complete Guidance for Your Social Security Post-Hearing Process

The legal expert at Drew L. Johnson, P.C. can offer you the right guidance for your Social Security post-hearing process. You can trust our attorney to provide you with the personal attention that you deserve.

AFTER THE HEARING – WHAT SHOULD YOU KNOW?

When will I get the results of the hearing?
It often takes a few months to receive a decision from the judge. It is very unusual for a judge to announce a decision at the hearing.
What happens if I win the hearing?
If you win benefits, you will get DIB benefits retroactively depending on the date that you applied and on the date the judge says you became disabled.
For SSI, you can only get benefits as far back as the first day of the next month after your application. The judge may also request that you have a “representative payee” if you have trouble handling money. This is a person who gets your checks on your behalf.
If a representative payee is recommended you should think about who would be willing to help you in this way. SSA will ask for your suggestions.
What happens if I lose the hearing?
If you lose your hearing, you can ask that the Social Security Appeals Council review your case. You must make this request within 60 days of your unfavorable hearing decision. Your attorney will normally do this for you.
If the Appeals Council refuses to review your case or decides against you, you have another 60 days to appeal to the U.S. District Court in your area. You will need a lawyer to appeal your case to federal court.

Post Hearing

Complete Guidance for Your Social Security Post-Hearing Process

The legal expert at Drew L. Johnson, P.C. can offer you the right guidance for your Social Security post-hearing process. You can trust our attorney to provide you with the personal attention that you deserve.

AFTER THE HEARING – WHAT SHOULD YOU KNOW?

When will I get the results of the hearing?
It often takes a few months to receive a decision from the judge. It is very unusual for a judge to announce a decision at the hearing.
What happens if I win the hearing?
If you win benefits, you will get DIB benefits retroactively depending on the date that you applied and on the date the judge says you became disabled.
For SSI, you can only get benefits as far back as the first day of the next month after your application. The judge may also request that you have a “representative payee” if you have trouble handling money. This is a person who gets your checks on your behalf.
If a representative payee is recommended you should think about who would be willing to help you in this way. SSA will ask for your suggestions.
What happens if I lose the hearing?
If you lose your hearing, you can ask that the Social Security Appeals Council review your case. You must make this request within 60 days of your unfavorable hearing decision. Your attorney will normally do this for you.
If the Appeals Council refuses to review your case or decides against you, you have another 60 days to appeal to the U.S. District Court in your area. You will need a lawyer to appeal your case to federal court.

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