Applicants for Supplemental Security Income benefits in Sandy Springs may look to the SSI hearing as their best opportunity to demonstrate their eligibility for benefits. However, to have the greatest chance for success, applicants must be careful to follow the rules regarding the submission of evidence and to present all available evidence to support their claim persuasively.
In many situations, the Sandy Springs SSI hearing provides the final chance to submit factual evidence regarding a claim for benefits. While a denial at the hearing level may be appealed, further appeals may be restricted to findings of law rather than factual findings supporting eligibility. To make the most of the opportunities presented by the hearing, many applicants work with a skilled SSI lawyer.
The purpose of a Sandy Springs SSI hearing is to establish whether an applicant qualifies to receive SSI benefits. Issues addressed in the hearing will be based on the reasons given by the Social Security Administration (SSA) in their letters denying benefits after the initial claim and on reconsideration.
The strict standards of interpretation that bound the staff members who reviewed the initial claim and issued the reconsideration ruling will not bind the administrative law judge hearing the case. For that reason, applicants often have a better chance of receiving a favorable outcome at this hearing.
Although statements made and evidence presented at an SSI hearing go on record, the hearing is not conducted like a courtroom trial. Instead, it usually takes place in a conference room rather than a courtroom. Like a trial, however, the parties arguing for and against the award of benefits will usually be represented by attorneys or other experienced advocates.
Because of a backlog, SSA now conducts many Sandy Springs SSI hearings via teleconference. In these cases, the applicant may give testimony and answer questions at a site near Sandy Springs while the judge sits in another location and asks questions on a screen.
In many SSI hearings, the key issues involve the extent of the applicant’s disability and how it prevents them from working. Applicants should be prepared to give specific examples of how the disabling condition inhibits their ability to complete everyday tasks. In addition to answering questions, the individual will usually also have the opportunity to make a statement or have an advocate make a statement on their behalf. This provides an excellent opportunity to highlights facts that may have been missed during questioning.
To be scheduled for a Sandy Springs SSI hearing, an applicant must have had a claim for benefits denied on reconsideration. Then, they must file a request for a hearing within 60 days of receiving notice of the denial. A hearing must be requested in writing, either through the SSA website or by filing a form or sending written notice to SSA.
After submitting the request, the applicant should receive notice of the date, time, and location at least 20 days before the hearing. If the hearing location is more than 75 miles away, they may ask for compensation for travel expenses, but the request for reimbursement must be made before the hearing.
SSA rules specifically provide for applicants to work with advocates during Sandy Springs SSI hearings. An applicant may bring witnesses to testify to their disability and may have their claims presented by an experienced representative such as an attorney.
Although an SSI is not as formal as a trial, procedural rules do apply, and applicants must take care to follow proper procedures or risk losing the opportunity to submit valuable evidence. Working with an advocate familiar with the process can help prevent errors that could jeopardize the outcome of the hearing. Call today to learn more.
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).
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