Hearing Your appeal brings you to a Hearing before an Administrative Law Judge. The Hearing is the only time you will come face to face with the person deciding your case, and it is your best chance at having your claim approved
To prepare for the hearing, at Hermann Law Group we collect all medical and other evidence and review what has already been submitted. We will meet with you in advance and prepare you for your hearing. We will review what the Judge will ask you and explain what to expect from start to finish
The Hearing is not open to the public. Aside from the Hearing Assistant (present to record the proceedings), the only people who will appear at this hearing are you, your attorney, and possibly an expert witness. Occasionally your attorney will call a witness on your behalf, but this is usually reserved for cases where the claimant is not able to clearly express himself before the Judge.
Sometimes the Judge will request opinion testimony from an expert witness. This might be a “Vocational Expert,” or “VE,” who would testify regarding what type of work you might be able to do given your medical limitations. Similarly, the Judge might request a “Medical Expert,” or “ME,” to assist him or her in understanding your medical records and determining either your functional capacity or whether your conditions meet a “Listing Criteria” and are therefore automatically classified as disabling. Neither of these “experts” will know you, and they will base their opinions on the facts in the records which are part of your claim file.
Your lawyer is the only one present at the Hearing. The Social Security Administration does not have someone present to oppose you. Instead, the Administrative Law Judge acts as the fact-finder and decision-maker of your case. The questions you will be asked will be asked by your own attorney and the Judge.
Nationwide, approximately 55 percent of the people who apply for hearings are approved. At Hermann Law Group we win approximately 85% of our hearings.
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