Guiding You Through the Disability Maze
The Social Security Administration often referred to simply as the SSA, is one of the biggest federal agencies in the country. In Alpharetta and all over Georgia, the SSA administers several programs to provide benefits for those who are disabled or in need of assistance, and the agency’s employees can even help people apply for benefits.
Unfortunately, people who do apply often have their claims for benefits denied, even after they request a reconsideration. Fortunately, there are still further options available in the form of a hearing before an administrative law judge.
To understand how an attorney or hearing advocate can help at an Alpharetta Social Security disability hearing, it is helpful to understand how a hearing proceeds and what the SSA is looking for. A Social Security disability lawyer or hearing advocate could help you demonstrate eligibility for benefits at a hearing in several ways.
Through the hearing process, the SSA administrative law judge may ask many questions in an effort to answer one central question: whether the applicant qualifies for benefits under the agency’s established regulations. If an applicant satisfies the work requirements, the SSA then seeks to determine whether the applicant meets the agency’s definition of disability.
To be eligible for disability benefits, a worker must not be able to perform work done previously and not be able to adjust to a new kind of job because of their medical condition. In addition, the disabling medical condition must be expected to last at least one year or cause the applicant’s death.
In short, the SSA is looking for evidence to support a finding of total long-term disability. Attorneys and hearing advocates with experience working with the SSA understand this and should know how to effectively demonstrate a level of disability that meets the agency’s standards.
While a hearing advocate or lawyer may provide valuable assistance during a disability hearing before an administrative law judge, perhaps the most important function of good legal counsel actually takes place before the hearing. This function primarily takes the form of helping gather evidence to support the claim of disability by collecting and submitting medical records so that they are ready for the hearing.
It is almost always wise to have older records showing the extent of the disability as well as recent records demonstrating that the medical condition continues to render the applicant unable to work. A lawyer or hearing advocate could also determine whether it would be a good idea to obtain additional tests and seek out supportive statements from physicians to enhance the viability of a claim.
A dedicated Social Security disability lawyer or hearing advocate may also work to prepare the applicant for the hearing. For instance, the attorney or hearing advocate may discuss questions that are likely to be posed by the judge and counsel the applicant about information to have available.
During a hearing regarding a denied Social Security benefits application, the applicant’s attorney or hearing advocate may serve many functions. They may serve as an advocate, speaking on behalf of the applicant and explaining arguments that it may be difficult for the person to articulate individually. In addition, the hearing advocate or attorney may also direct proceedings to a degree by asking the applicant questions in a manner designated to reveal key information, or by questioning expert witnesses in order to bring specified information to the judge’s attention.
Social security disability proceedings can often involve complex arguments, but an experienced lawyer or hearing advocate should understand these intricate points so they could effectively argue how your case meets one of the eligibility standards. For information about how an attorney or hearing advocate can help at an Alpharetta Social Security disability hearing in your specific case, call today to arrange a consultation with a member of our intake team.
There are many Social Security disability law firms throughout Georgia. What sets The Khaki Law Firm apart from the rest? Why should you choose us? We are honored to represent those who have worked hard most of their lives, but due to a mental or physical impairment are no longer able to maintain employment and earn an income.
With offices in Alpharetta, Atlanta and Marietta, we provide legal assistance to people throughout Georgia and the Southeast in all matters of Social Security Disability Insurance (SSDI) and Supplemental Security Income (SSI).
We are ready to help you, and offer multiple ways to reach us.