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What to know before a Social Security disability hearing

A disability hearing typically comes after the initial application for benefits has been denied, but it is something that disabled applicants should carefully prepare for rather than being anxious about. In some states, it may be the first step in the process. Disabled individuals should know what to expect so that they can share their disability and how it impacts them to demonstrate their need for the Social Security disability benefits they are seeking.

As a general rule of thumb, of course, the disabled individual should avoid any mistruths or exaggerations during the hearing. The hearing will be before an administrative law judge who will be making a determination about the disabled individual's benefits. It is important for the disabled applicant to keep in mind that there are additional options for appeal if their benefits are denied following the hearing. Disabled individuals should be prepared and also know what to do if that happens.

At the hearing, the disabled individual should be prepared to share their medical condition, including the medical records, the symptoms they experience and any medications they are taking; their physical and mental abilities; their medical condition, including treatment they have received for their disabling medical condition; their level of training and education; their employment history over the preceding 15 years; and their daily activities. Because qualifying for Social Security disability benefits is based on both a disabling medical condition and work history credits, both may be discussed during the hearing.

Most initial applications for Social Security disability benefits are denied, which is why it is useful to understand the hearing process and also appeals options. Social Security benefits are important benefits for many disabled individuals struggling to get by which is why the disabled applicant should be prepared for their hearing as much as possible.

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