Monthly Article (April 2012) – Hearing Tips

An Explanation of Fayetteville Disability Hearings

Fayetteville Disability AttorneySocial Security disability hearings are generally less formal than a courtroom trial, especially with regards to the number of people present. But regardless of the degree of formality, your Social Security disability hearing should not be taken lightly. Without the assistance of a skilled and knowledgeable Fayetteville disability lawyer to help you prepare and offer you support, your chances of a successful disability hearing is greatly reduced.

There will be at least three people present and seated at a conference table at your disability hearing: you, the administrative law judge (ALJ) and his assistant. If you are represented by a disability lawyer, he will also be present at this hearing. The ALJ’s assistant may either sit at a smaller table or with the rest of you at the conference table. The assistant’s primary task will be to record the contents of the hearing.

Typically, ALJs will request the testimony of a vocational or medical expert, who will also be present at your hearing. Any additional witnesses may be allowed to remain in the hearing room during your testimony or will be asked to immediately leave after their testimony. Spectators will be allowed to remain in the hearing room upon your consent. Although you are allowed to have observers present during your hearing, they are not permitted to interfere with anyone’s testimony or assist you in answering any questions.

Additionally, in cases that involve mentally impaired individuals, the ALJ will not allow the claimant to stay in the hearing room while his or her witnesses are testifying. This is due to the fact that such claimants may become upset with these testimonies, which could ultimately affect the outcome of their case.

Even though Social Security disability hearings are less formal than a courtroom trial, you should not discount the fact that this hearing could have a major impact on the rest of your life. If you fail to properly prepare for this hearing, you will not be qualified to receive the Social Security disability benefits that you deserve. As such, your well-qualified Fayetteville disability lawyer will play an invaluable role in preparing you for a successful disability hearing. For more information, contact Fayetteville disability attorney Greg Thurman.