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What to expect at a Social Security Disability Hearing

What to expect at a Social Security Disability Hearing
By Nicholas Wearne, Associate Attorney

Social Security Disability hearings can be intimidating so this is a general idea of what to expect. 
First off, I tell people to arrive about an hour early.  You never know what traffic is going to be like.  Make sure you have researched the address the night before and you know where the hearing office is located.  I always meet with my clients in the half hour before hearing just to review their case and go over things one last time.
When you arrive you will check in with security and if you have an attorney you will wait for them.  About 5-10 minutes before the hearing begins a hearing monitor will come check on you to make sure you are there and to make sure everything is ready for the judge.  They generally leave and will come back once the judge is ready. 
Expect your hearing to last about an hour.  In the hearing room it will you, your attorney if you have one, the judge, the hearing monitor, and usually there will be a vocational expert.  The judge and your attorney will ask you a series of questions to get an idea of why you think you are disabled, to get an idea of what you do during the day, and to figure out what your past work was like.  The judge will them ask some hypothetical questions to the vocational expert.  Generally, you will not receive a decision from the judge at that time but he will conclude the hearing and send you his decision a month or so later in the mail.  On occasion the judge will end the hearing by letting you know what he or she is going to do.
If you have a hearing scheduled and you are nervous about how things are going to play out, contact our office for a free consultation.