Tips for SSI hearing

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Harley Diva
Regular Member

Date Joined Oct 2006
Total Posts : 160
   Posted 3/29/2007 11:19 PM (GMT -7)   
Hi all...Here are a few tips for your hearing
1. Go as early as possible to your local office and request to see your file. Sometimes they need to send for it from another office and it takes a couple of weeks. Set an appointment to look at the file. You will need to do that in the office. When you get the file look at the reason for the denial. Read all the doctors reports from the CE exams that they sent you to. Write down any areas that you disagree with. Make sure you write the page number paragraph and line, so you can refer to it at the hearing. If you disagree have your doctor write a letter that supports your view.
2. The hearing will be in a room with a judge(who may wear a robe), a recorder, and a department of rehabilitation worker. It is not held in a courtroom. Sometimes they are held a a conference room in a hotel or a small ALJ cour (administrative Law Judge). The session will be recorded.
3. Prior to the hearing up to 30 days forward any new evidence or letters of support to the Judge. There will be the contact information on the letter that tells you the date of the hearing. Do not surprise the judge the day of the hearing with data. They don't like that. You will not be the only hearing that day. The judge does his preperation BEFORE the hearings. I have known judges that get angry if a long letter or too much data is submitted that day. They have to read it and don't have time for more than a quick once over. It is also good for the judge to be aware of your situation prior to seeing you. It would be important in the case of RA to get a letter and data that state that RA is a progressive disease and not curable. Make sure you address the fatigue. They will accept information off the internet if the source is credible like the Mayo clinic etc. Adress all the medications and the side effects.
Education and Age make a big differance. It is harder for a young person to get benifits. They figure if you are 55 lets say and only have a high school education you are going to fall in the physical labor catagory. If you were unable to do that you would need to go back to school and learn a new profession. Due to age it would be harder to start a new career and you would be able to retire in a short time. So they are more likely to grant the case. If you are young or educated you are in for a harder time.
4. Do not interrupt during the hearing. Take notes and wait for your turn. Be systematic and address each concern. You can call a witness and that can be done by phone. If you let your doctor know He may be willing to testify by phone. DO NOT surprise the judge. Let them know beforehand that you have a witness. You may also bring a witness. They will have to sit seperate from the hearing and will be told when they can testify
5. Dress clean and neat and behave in a professional manner. No mini skirts or jeans. No need for suits either.
6. The judge may take up to 30 days to file a decision. The judge does not work for SSA. He or she is impartial. The judge my order an extra exam or test. It is rare but I have seen it happen.
Harley Diva
....RA, HPT,  drugs: MTX Enbrel, bp meds,folic acid

Regular Member

Date Joined Jan 2007
Total Posts : 30
   Posted 3/30/2007 6:13 PM (GMT -7)   
Thanks for the info. Due to distance my attorney has filed for an Award of Record but chances are I will have to travel to Colo for a hearing but you never know.
Cheyenne,  WY
Meds: Enbrel/ MTX/ FA/ Klonopin/ Flexeril/ Lyrica/ Hydrocodone
RA Dx Sept05/ FMS Dx Jul05/ OA Dx Apr00
"Fear not for I am with thee"

Regular Member

Date Joined Sep 2006
Total Posts : 362
   Posted 4/2/2007 4:53 AM (GMT -7)   

Thank you Harley-

I'm printing your advise, steps, etc. as you post them. Keep them coming. I'd like to be armed with as much info as possible. Thanks again for taking the time and energy to do this for others to make the process easier.

Take Care,
    "God grant me the serenity to accept the things I can not change, the courage to change the things I can and the wisdom to know the difference."
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Veteran Member

Date Joined Mar 2005
Total Posts : 3199
   Posted 4/3/2007 1:00 PM (GMT -7)   
Thanks Diva! You're AWESOME!
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