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What to Expect at a Social Security Disability Hearing Office

Illinois Social Security Disability Claims Attorney

We’ve been to thousands of Social Security Disability Hearings. The following information will help you learn what to expect at a hearing office for your Social Security Disability Hearing.

Cellular Phones

A hearing office can be in a federal building or in a small rented office space. Regardless of location, the security is tight. When you go to the hearing office for your Social Security disability hearing, be prepared to have any of your belongings checked and to go through a security screening. There are posters all over asking individuals to turn off their cellular phones. Besides being quite embarrassing to have your phone go off in the hearing waiting area, you will be asked to leave by the security guard. It is a good idea to come to the hearing with your cellphone already turned off.

Arrive Early for your Hearing

People get to their scheduled hearings late all the time. Depending on the timing, the Judge could simply reschedule your hearing before you even get there. So, it is a good idea to get to the hearing early to make sure that you are prepared for court. When you arrive, the front desk should give you a CD that contains all of the medical evidence that they gathered for your case. Coming to the hearing early can ensure that you will have an opportunity to review the CD on their computer. If you have hired a Social Security disability lawyer to represent you on your case, most likely he or she will tell you to arrive at the hearing between 30 minutes to an hour early to prepare for the hearing. Make sure you give yourself adequate time to get ready and travel to the hearing office.

How to Dress at the Hearing

Many individuals come to a hearing dressed in a business suit. This is not necessary. The disability hearing is a very informal, laid back experience. Judges understand that people applying for disability benefits often have great difficulty wearing certain types of clothing and they allow claimants to come into the hearings wearing their normal everyday clothes.

Can Friends Come with You to the Hearing?

Anyone who you feel will give you emotional support can come with you to the Social Security Disability hearing office. Each person who comes with you to the hearing office will need to go through the same security screening you and your lawyer will have to go through. They will not be allowed to go into the hearing with you, however they will be allowed to wait in the waiting area while you have your hearing. Typically, an administrative law judge needs to approve anyone that comes into the hearing room. This includes someone who might have come with you to testify at the hearing as a Lay Witness. So you may bring a friend or family member for emotional support, but they should expect to wait for you outside the hearing.

Bring Your Medicine Bottles With You

Almost every administrative law judge will at some point during a hearing ask a claimant what medications he or she is taking. Medications have complex names that are easily forgotten. By bringing the medicine bottles with you to the hearing, you will easily be able to read the prescriptions off to the judge.

Not Everyone Receives a CD

The Social Security Administration has slowly been changing to an electronic system. More and more paper cases are being phased out of the system. However, there are still some cases that have not been transferred to an electronic file. When you arrive at the hearing, do not be surprised if you are not given a CD with all of your medical records on it if you have a paper case. If you have appealed your case to the hearing level and believe that you have a paper case, you should be extra careful to double check that all of your records are included in the claims file.

We want to help you throughout the Social Security Disability Hearing process. Contact us today at 312-999-0999 for a free consultation.

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