How to file for disability, Filing for SSI
Disability Requirements, Disability Status
How long is the wait?, Disability Application
The Social Security List of Impairments
Qualifying for Disability, Mental Disability
Disability Lawyer Info, Disability Back Pay

Responsibilities of the Disability Representative Before and After the Social Security Hearing

In addition to obtaining strong evidence for the claim at a hearing, a disability representative will need to be familiar with the applicant's work history. This is because, though many applicants may not realize it, SSDI and SSI decisions are usually made on the basis of a medical vocational allowance, a type of approval that takes into account both an applicant's medical history and work history.

By evaluating the medical history, the social security administration can determine whether or not the individual has a severe mental or physical impairment, as well as what the person's limitations are. By examining the work history, SSA can gain insight into whether or not the person, given their limitations, can return to one of their former jobs, or do some type of other work.

Because the outcome of a disability case (a fully favorable approval, a partially favorable approval, or denial) will usually be based on both medical and vocational (job-related) information, the applicant who goes to a disability hearing may find that the judge has brought in expert witnesses. These witness can be either medical or vocational, or both.

A medical expert will be a physician who can provide testimony to the judge regarding the applicant's history of illness, giving the judge indications as to what the applicant is physically or mentally capable of doing. A vocational expert will be an individual who can provide expert information to the judge as to what jobs might be available to the claimant in a given geographical area based on their existing job skills, age, education, and physical or mental limitations.

When experts give testimony at a disability hearing, it falls to the applicant's disability representative to A) ask questions of the expert witness, B) pose hypothetical scenarios to the expert witness and C) possibly challenge the witness on the facts or assumptions presented in, or implicit within, their testimony to the judge.

This is not typically the type of role that can be left to the applicant and this is yet another reason why individuals who go to disability hearings without the benefit of representation can leave themselves at a distince disadvantage.

The various responsibilities of the disability representative can be summarized as follows:

1. Keeping track of the status of the disability case.

2. Responding to requests for information from the social security administration.

3. Ensuring that the applicant complies with certain directives (for example, making sure that the applicant goes to a consultative medical exam if one has been scheduled for them by SSA).

4. Filing appeal appeal paperwork in a timely fashion.

5. Keeping social security updated with regard to changes in the applicant's situation (such as medical treatment and contact information).

6. Preparation for the disability hearing, including obtaining a copy of the social security file, reviewing it, and obtaining additional evidence to strengthen the case.

7. Reviewing the decision of the administrative law judge following the hearing, particulary if the decision is not a denial but is still less than a fully favorable decision (if, for example, the decision was partially favorable, the representative would need to advise the claimant as to whether or not the decision should be accepted or appealed).

Essential Questions

What is the Social Security Disability SSI list of impairments?

Can you work while getting or applying for Disability?

How Often Does Social Security Approve Disability The First Time You Apply?

Tips for getting Social Security Disability or SSI benefits approved

What medical conditions will get you approved for disability?

What kind of Mental Problems Qualify for Disability?

Receiving a Disability Award Letter

Conditions Social Security will recognize as a disability

Previously answered questions regarding SSD and SSI

Applying for disability in your state

Most popular topics on SSDRC.com

Social Security Disability SSI Questions

The listings, list of disabling impairments

Can a mental illness qualify you for disability?

Disability Lawyers prevent unnecessary denials

How much Social Security Disability SSI back pay?

How to apply for disability for a child or children

Filing a Social Security Disability SSI application

Filing for disability - when to file

How to apply for disability - where to apply

Qualifications for disability benefits

How to Prove you are disabled and Win your Disability Benefits

Qualifying for Disability - The Process

How to get disability for depression

Getting disability for fibromyalgia

SSI disability for children with ADHD

What is the Application Process for Social Security Disability and SSI?

Common Mistakes to avoid after being denied for Disability

Social Security Disability SSI Exam tips

More Social Security Disability SSI Questions

Social Security Disability SSI definitions

What makes you eligible for Social Security Disability or SSI?

New and featured pages on SSDRC.com

Who can help me file for disability?

Related pages:

Should I be Represented by a Lawyer or a Non-Attorney Disability Representative?
What is the Role of a Social Security Disability Representative?
Getting a Social Security Disability Representative for your case
Will an attorney or representative help me win North Carolina disability benefits?
Should I get a disability representative or lawyer in North Carolina?
Responsibilities of the Disability Representative Before and After the Social Security Hearing
Getting a Disability Lawyer in New York
If you apply for disability in New York
Will I qualify for disability Benefits in New York

These pages answer some of the most basic questions for individuals who are considering filing a claim.

Can you get temporary Social Security Disability or SSI benefits?

Permanent Social Security Disability

What is the difference between Social Security Disability and SSI?

Who is eligible for SSI disability?

Can I Be Eligible For SSI And Social Security Disability At The Same Time?

What makes a person eligible to receive disability benefits?

Applying for Disability - How long does it take to get Social Security Disability or SSI benefits?

What happens if I file a disability application and it is denied by a disability examiner or Judge?

For the sake of clarity, SSDRC.com is not the Social Security Administration, nor is it associated or affiliated with SSA. This site is a personal, private website that is published, edited, and maintained by former caseworker and former disability claims examiner, Tim Moore, who was interviewed by the New York Times on the topic of Social Security Disability and SSI benefits in an article entitled "The Disability Mess" and also by the Los Angeles Times on the subject of political attempts to weaken the Social Security Disability system.

The goal of the site is to provide information about how Social Security Disability and SSI work, the idea being that qualified information may help claimants pursue their claims and appeals, potentially avoiding time-consuming mistakes. If you find the information on this site helpful and believe it would be helpful to others, feel free to share links to its homepage or other pages on website resource pages, blogs, or social media. Copying of this material, however, is prohibited.

To learn more about the author, please visit the SSDRC.com homepage and view the "about this site" link near the bottom of the page.