SSDI Hearings

Social Security Disability Lawyers in Chicago

If you file for Social Security Disability Insurance (SSDI) benefits in Chicago, you may have to testify in an SSDI hearing to show your condition is too disabling to work. Most Social Security hearings have similarities. They are different from trials and they aren't open to the public. Generally, the hearing includes the disabled person, his representative, the administrative law judge, and someone recording or typing out transcripts of the proceedings. Sometimes expert witnesses also testify. It can be difficult to get SSDI benefits, so if you have a hearing, it is advisable to consult a seasoned Chicago Social Security Disability attorney.

Denials

Unfortunately, many valid initial claims for disability benefits are denied. Going through the process of an SSDI claim can be discouraging. If your claim is denied, you can file a request for reconsideration. These claims are also denied fairly often. If the request for reconsideration is also denied, you can appeal.

You will need to wait to have the administrative law judge hear your case at a disability hearing. The disability hearing may be the most important step of the disability claims process since it's the only point at which a decision-maker will see and hear from you. A hearing can result in your favor. However, if an administrative law judge doesn't decide in your favor at the hearing, it becomes increasingly unlikely you'll be approved for benefits at some later stage. Therefore it's critical to do what you can to prepare for the hearing, and wise to retain an experienced lawyer to represent you at the hearing.

SSDI Hearings

The administrative law judge will read a statement of facts about your claim. He or she has already reviewed your case. In most cases, you will then be questioned as the claimant. The questions at the hearing will address your medical conditions or injuries, your medical treatment, your past work, and any restrictions you have. The purpose of the questions is to get all facts needed to make a decision about whether you should receive disability benefits. It is important to testify honestly and to give pertinent specific examples when asked about how your disability restricts your daily living.

Often the administrative law judge will ask questions about the extent of your disability and the restrictions on you. The administrative law judge is trying to figure out whether your condition is permanent or expected to last a minimum of 12 months.

The judge will also ask your attorney to speak or ask you other questions. Your attorney tells you in advance about any questions he or she will ask. After that, the judge will ask any expert witnesses to testify. Sometimes the experts are medical experts who can testify about specific disabilities. Other times they are vocational experts who can give you feedback about your ability to hold down a job. There may be a posing of hypothetical situations by an administrative law judge to figure out what occupations or jobs you may be capable of holding in spite of your restrictions. Your lawyer will have a chance to cross-examine, and the cross-examination can be crucial.

When the hearing is finishing up, you may be asked additional questions and you'll probably be asked if you want to add any further information.

Consult an Experienced SSDI Attorney in Chicago

At Katz, Friedman, Eagle, Eisenstein, Johnson & Bareck, our Social Security Disability lawyers can help disabled individuals in Chicago with their initial applications for benefits, and take appropriate steps if the initial applications are denied. It is critical to present well at an SSDI hearing and show that your impairment or impairments qualify you for disability benefits. We assist disabled clients with SSDI claims and appeals in Aurora, Quincy, Rockford, Champaign, and Springfield, as well as other communities in Adams, Champaign, Winnebago, Kane, Sangamon, and Cook Counties. We look at your disability case carefully to make sure we address all areas of potential relief, such as workers' compensation or personal injury. Call us at 312-263-6330 or toll-free at 800-444-1525, or contact us online to learn more.