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What Should I Bring With Me To My Disability Hearing

Posted on in Social Security Disability

One of our readers posed the following question: "I was wondering what I should bring with me to my Social Security disability hearing, would it be better to leave everything at home or should I just bring everything I can think of with me?"

This is an excellent question that frequently gets overlooked. Most claimants wait a very long time before they finally have their day in court. The court date is the day most claimants have been waiting for to argue why they deserve disability benefits. Therefore, it is crucial to have the resources and tools readily available to paint the most accurate picture of what your physical or mental limitations are and how they could create potential hurdles for you in a work setting. Below are some things a claimant should consider:

1) If a claimant wears any kind of brace (i.e. back or neck brace, hand splints, walking boot, etc.) it should be brought to the hearing. The hearing is very informal. While a claimant may be tempted to come to the hearing in a suit in order to look professional or impress the court, leaving the brace behind does not give the judge an accurate depiction of the claimant's needs outside the courtroom.

2) Similar to number 1, if a claimant normally uses an ambulatory assistive device (i.e. crutches, a cane, walker, wheelchair, etc.) it should be brought to the disability hearing. Many claimants leave their assistive devices at home thinking it would either make them look bad or it is improper to have at court. That is not the case.

3) It helps to bring all updated prescription medications or medicine bottles to the hearing. Claimants change dosages and medications all the time. Bringing current prescriptions or medicine bottles will give an accurate depiction of what you are taking for different medical conditions. It will also make it easier to answer some of the judge's questions.

4) Moral support. Coming to court can be a very emotionally draining experience. If a claimant thinks it could be too difficult to come to and stay at the hearing office alone, have a friend or relative come along. Having someone by a claimant's side at the hearing office can reduce the tension leading up to the actual disability hearing.

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