I want to discuss some things people need to know before they get to a Social Security hearing. I have worked in Social Security law for almost 20 years now and I can tell you there is a lot of information that is needed before having a hearing date. This blog will focus on the top 3 things to think about before your hearing:
- GET A REPRESENTATIVE BEFORE YOUR HEARING DATE- It is important that people consider getting a representative BEFORE they get a hearing date. One of the main issues for people waiting is that they are just too sick be it mental or physical, lack of knowledge about the process, and frustration over the time delays. Many times, people may not contact us till just weeks or days before the hearing. That makes it more difficult for us to assess and properly develop a file. Many times this will delay your hearing process and may even call for a need to postpone your hearing. It is best to be ready the first time, so do not delay in getting representation.
- SEE A DOCTOR FOR CONSISTENT TREATMENT and MAKE SURE THIS EVIDENCE IS SUBMITTED – If you have not had a representative then there is a large possibility that your file is missing evidence to support your claim of disability. Gardberg and Kemmerly can look at your file and make sure your information gets requested, received, and forwarded properly. We also review the exhibits on a consistent basis, being sure your information is in the file and updated. We are constantly preparing your file all through the course of representation, not just when the hearing is scheduled. It is important that you are getting the treatment to support your claim. Waiting to see a doctor when the hearing is set could be too late. Also, do not rely on Social Security to send you to one of their practitioners as these examiners only see you once and many times lack any prior medical history in determining their diagnoses and limitations.
- TALK TO YOUR DOCTORS/NURSE PRACTITIONERS OR THERAPISTS- This is crucial to a determination of disability. Social Security can use statements and opinions from your treating physicians about your abilities and limitations to help determine disability. It is important that you tell your doctors everything that is going on with you including the fact you have filed for disability. I consistently remind my clients to speak to their treating providers about the issues they are having that are keeping them from working. Never assume your provider knows what is wrong. Many times they do not.
Remember, your compliance with providers, medications, treatment and follow-up plays a crucial role in determining disability. These are just a few of the top things I believe you should think about before having a hearing. If you are thinking of filing or have filed a claim for VA or Social Security disability, then call us right now at 251-343-1111 or 1-800-332-1529. Gardberg and Kemmerly has been representing people in Alabama, Mississippi, and Florida for over 30 years.