Tips for SSD and SSI disability hearings

I've seen it happen a million times. A claimant waits as long as 2 years to get to a scheduled hearing before an administrative law juge. It's the day they've been waiting for, it's the day that has hung like a sword of damocles over their head for weeks since the hearing appointment letter arrrived. And on the way to the hearing they get lost. Or get mired in an incredible traffic jam.


Steps and Tips for requesting a disability hearing
Preparation to win a disability hearing
Tips for Getting Disability Approved

Don't let this happen to you. True, if you have a valid excuse for not making it to a scheduled disability hearing, the ALJ (administrative law judge) will probably cut you some slack and reschedule your hearing. But your next hearing date will probably be weeks away. And if your finances are already stretched thin and near the breaking point (or past it), you don't want to add any more time to your "participation" in the process.

Here's a tip and one of several simple tips to follow: if you're not exactly sure where the hearing office is located, make a dry run sometime prior to the day of the hearing. That may be cumbersome for some, but, for others, having been to the hearing office at least once before may make the difference between arriving at a disability hearing on time, and having a tremendous headache and a chest full of anxiety because you either got lost or underestimated the traffic ended up getting there too late.

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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