If you filed for disability benefits, it is because you need financial support due to your inability to work. Whether it is due to a medical condition, severe injury or mental illness, you are unable to earn a gainful income. It can be incredibly disheartening to learn that your claim came back denied, but that is actually quite normal.
Many initial claims are not successful. Even with a valid medical condition, it can be difficult to secure the benefits you need and deserve from the Social Security Administration. After this happens, you can start the appeals process, first by requesting a reconsideration of your claim. The SSA will take a closer look at your case again, but if this is not successful, there are additional steps you can take. The next step is to attend a disability hearing.
Learning about the hearing
After a denied reconsideration, you only have 60 days to request a hearing. This will take place before an Administrative Law Judge. Before you get to this step, it is helpful to learn about the hearing and what you can expect to happen during this part of the process. It may help you to understand the following about the hearing:
- You will receive notice from the SSA regarding the date of your hearing and the time it will take place.
- These hearings typically do not take long, lasting from as few as 15 minutes to as long as one hour.
- You may have to give a testimony regarding your condition, or witnesses who understand your condition may have to speak.
- The judge may ask you questions or ask witnesses questions; you can also request a time to speak for yourself.
- After taking time to consider everything, the judge will make a ruling and send you notice by mail of his or her decision.
It can be intimidating to think about the possibility of having a hearing before a judge. However, this may be a necessary step in your efforts to secure disability benefits. Thankfully, you do not have to walk through this process alone or without support.
If you are dealing with a denied claim, you may find it especially helpful to discuss your case with a West Virginia attorney who has first-hand experience in the disability claims and appeals process. Starting with an assessment of your case, you can first learn about all of the legal options that may be available to you.