The national average for Social Security Disability hearing approvals is 48%. I’m sure this is not the kind of percentage you were hoping for. There are several factors that go into whether you win or lose your hearing. Some are within your control and some are out of your control.
The judge you are assigned to appear before is absolutely out of your control. Your judge will be drawn at random. Once your case is ready to be scheduled, your hearing will be scheduled with the next available judge. Another factor that is out of your control is whether there will be a vocational expert at your hearing and who that expert will be. Similar to the judge, if you have a vocational expert at your hearing they will be assigned at random. Probably the most important factor that is out of your control is when your hearing will actually be scheduled. This is fully dependent upon the caseload of the hearing officer. When you put in your request for a hearing you are essentially given a number in line. When your number is ready, your hearing will be scheduled.
Enough with the factors that are out of your control. Let’s discuss some factors that you can control and could help your chances of winning your disability case.
The most important thing you can do to improve your chances of winning your disability case is to hire an experienced Social Security disability attorney. I’m guessing your in-court experience is pretty limited. Even if you do have some experience in a courtroom I can guarantee it is nothing like a Social Security disability hearing. For instance, there is no other side. It is just you and the judge. The judge is there to be an unbiased party, to hear your case and apply it to the disability regulations. While the judge is not technically there representing the government, they are also not there representing you either.
Don’t be fooled into thinking the judge is on your side just because he or she is being nice to you. The Social Security regulations are not easy to understand. You can bet at your hearing the Judge will not take time to explain to you every regulation that may apply in your case. This is where having an experienced attorney representing you comes in handy. Your attorney knows the program, they know what arguments to make and how to prepare your case. If you want to improve your chances of winning your disability claim, hiring an experienced attorney will make the biggest difference.
In addition to hiring an attorney, you can make sure your medical history is well documented. Meaning, you treat your doctor on a regular basis. During those evaluations, your doctor writes extensive notes documenting the severity of your condition along with your limitations. And make sure to follow the exact prescribed treatment of your provider.
The third factor is truthfulness. Always make sure to be 100% honest no matter who you are speaking to about your disability claim. Whether it is your doctor, a clerk from Social Security, or even filling out questionnaires from the Social Security Administration. Judges love to catch individuals making inconsistent statements about their conditions. It goes straight towards the credibility of your claim.
Obtaining Social Security disability benefits continues to be increasingly difficult. Improve your chances and hire an experienced attorney to represent you in your case.