Disability Judges and getting information for your disability claim decision
"Why do disability judges have Social Security representatives gather information to make the decision on your disability claim?"
Administrative law judges do not make Social Security representatives gather information for them, rather Social Security representatives gather the necessary medical information to help their clients chances of being approved for disability. Of course, the judge can make a decision without additional information, but that may not be very advantageous to your disability claim. The reason being, the information contained in the disability file was not enough for an approval at the initial or reconsideration appeal level, therefore it may not be enough for an administrative law judge to approve either.
Most Social Security Disability representatives evaluate their client's disability file to see what information is needed to garner an approval for disability. Once they determine what is needed, they send out for the medical records so that they can be included in your disability claim folder.
Your representative may have to ask the judge for more time if they have not been able to get an important piece of medical evidence in time for your hearing. The judge generally grants some time to get the medical information before rendering their decision. That being said, it is best to have all of your information at the hearing if possible.
In summary, disability judges do not have representatives gather information for their decision. So, if your representative does not get any additional information they will still make their decision. Basically, the choice is in your hands with regard to supplying more information, but it is in the best interest of your disability claim that your representative gets current medical information for the hearing so you can win your disability benefits.
About the Author: Tim Moore is a former Social Security Disability Examiner in North Carolina, has been interviewed by the NY Times and the LA Times on the disability system, and is an Accredited Disability Representative (ADR) in North Carolina. For assistance on a disability application or Appeal in NC, click here.
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