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What can you expect to happen at a disability benefits hearing?

Suffering a disability due to an injury or illness can be a difficult situation for residents in Florida to be in. However, being denied Social Security benefits is an even more challenging situation. While many applicants are aware that most initial applications are denied, this does not make the matter any easier. Waiting for much needed benefits can be difficult; therefore, it is important to understand how to appeal this decision and even get a hearing on the books if reconsideration is denied.

After an initial application is denied, an applicant can seek reconsideration. If reconsideration is denied, an applicant will have 60 days to request an administrative hearing. This is a second level of appeals in the Social Security disability application process.

What can you expect to happen at a disability hearing? Unfortunately, it can take some time to receive a response for a request for a hearing. However, applicants will receive a notice of a hearing at least 20 days in advance, which will detail the date, time and location of the disability hearing.

Applicants can expect these hearings to move relatively quickly, most lasting from 15 minutes to an hour. Thus, it is important to be well prepared for these hearings and to arrive early. What happens during the hearing depends on the complexity of the matter. Applicants can expect to provide evidence, which could include medical documents, witnesses, medical experts and personal testimony.

After a judge has the opportunity to study the evidence and testimony provided, he or she will provide a written decision. This will be sent to the applicant, indicating whether his or her claim is approved or dismissed. If you have received an unfavorable outcome, it is possible to request a review by the SSA Appeals Council.

The SSD benefits applicant and appeals process can be lengthy and complex. Thus, it is important that applicants are aware of their rights and seek assistance when necessary. This will ensure their rights and protected throughout the process.

Source: FindLaw, "What Happens at a Disability Hearing?" accessed March 26, 2017

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