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Response to Lower ALJ Allowance Rates

Posted on in Social Security Disability

Financial pressures on the Social Security Administration have no doubt resulted in lower allowance rates by administrative law judges in Social Security disability hearings. The decrease in approvals means that claimants have to be better prepared and more knowledgeable than before. How can claimants respond to stricter standards to get a competitive edge in a disability hearing?

Are you being represented by a Social Security disability attorney? If you answered no, then that is the first thing that you can do to potentially improve your chances of winning your claim. If you answered yes, it used to be the case that the attorney was the one who needed to be fully prepared at the hearing. Today, more often than not, the claimant needs to become an active participant in the disability process, especially at the hearing level. There has to be transparency between you and your attorney regarding your medical condition and any other issues related to your case. The attorney needs to know your updated medical treatment and any recent changes to your physical and/or mental limitations. Similarly, you have to understand the issues that will be discussed at your hearing and know what to expect when you have your day in court. You need to have an understanding of the types of questions that the judge will likely ask you and think carefully before answering them. In front of a judge with a very high approval rating, it may be a little easier to get away with not knowing certain aspects of your case. However, as Social Security puts more and more pressure on judges it becomes that much more important to be prepared for the day of your disability hearing.

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