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What occurs during a hearing on disability benefits?

When Georgia residents have an important goal they want to reach, the road to accomplish that goal can be full of obstructions and difficulties. There can be numerous setbacks along the way, with each presenting a new challenge that must be overcome to continue down the road.

Last week, this blog discussed how individuals who have been denied social security disability benefits can appeal the denial. There are multiple levels of appeal that may be taken, each with different requirements and procedures at play.

For example, one level of appeal allows a person to obtain a hearing before an administrative law judge. The hearing is very important because it allows for evidence of the person's need for Social Security disability benefits to be put into the record. This includes evidence not only of medical reports and other medical information, but testimony from witnesses as well.

There may be witnesses who testify about the person's medical condition, for instance, and the condition's impact on the person's ability to do work. There may also be testimony from vocational experts, such as testimony about the types of jobs the person might possibly be able to perform and how many of those jobs are available in a nearby area.

Each side can ask the witnesses questions, which can be vital when there are disputed issues between the parties. Accordingly, it is essential that the right questions be asked in order to demonstrate the person's need for disability benefits.

Ultimately, the hearing process illustrates the need for the person requesting benefits to be prepared and knowledgeable about the issues that will arise during the hearing. By understanding what evidence must be provided and the strategy behind presenting that evidence, the person can put himself or herself in the best possible position to obtain benefits.

Source: Social Security Administration, "Appeals process," accessed on June 26, 2015

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