Getting ready for a disability hearing in Florida
Too often, the mental aspect of getting ready for a disability hearing is not given sufficient consideration and may even be ignored. Now, by "mental aspect", I don't mean mental allegations (such as bipolar disorder, depression, panic attacks, etc) such as those that would be addressed in the presentation of a case at a hearing.
Instead, I'm actually referring to the anxiety that every claimant for Social Security Disability or SSI disability must surely feel on the day of their disability hearing (and the day before and the day before that).
How can an attorney or non attorney claimant's representative who is handling a claim in Florida help to alleviate some of this pre-hearing anxiety? Well, some representatives send out pre-hearing letters that explain what a claimant should wear to a hearing (casual dress), when a claimant should arrive at a hearing (usually, thirty minutes prior to the hearing is sufficient) and address other issues as well.
However, letters don't always arrive and written communication will not allow a claimant to "get rid of" some anxiety-provoking concerns, such as What will the judge ask me?, What will I have to say?, or What should I bring with me.
For questions like these, a call from an attorney or non attorney representative, prior to the hearing date, may be quite helpful. And during such a call, a representative can quickly impart to a disability claimant a basic understanding of how the hearing proceedings will be conducted. This can reduce some of the anxiety a disability claimant will naturally feel.
And, from a pragmatic standpoint, it will ensure that the claimant knows the time and place of the hearing which written communication will not always ensure. Additionally, pre-hearing calls made to claimants may allow a representative to discover that a claimant has very recently moved.
If you are a Social Security Disability or SSI disability claimant, of course, you'll want to keep everyone associated with your claim completely up-to-date with your current address. If you have a scheduled hearing, this means the social security office, the hearing office, and your attorney or non attorney representative.
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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