Tips for a More Successful Disability Hearing

There are many factors involved in obtaining an approval to your disability claim, some within your control and some out of your control. Here are some tips that may improve your chances of success when you attend a hearing with an Administrative Law Judge.

  1. Have a third party statement. This is a written letter from someone who knows you and can describe how your disability affects your life.
  2. Have an attorney draft a pre-hearing brief for the ALJ to read ahead of time with your application and file.
  3. Have at least one of your current treating physicians give a supportive opinion in written form stating why he/she believes you are disabled.
  4. Keep a consistent log of medical records, appointments and medications. Doing this will show that you are keeping up with your appointment because you continue to need medical treatment. Keeping up with your medications as directed will show that they are still necessary because of your on-going disability.
  5. Be honest in your answers to the judge. If a judge feels that you are being dishonest, it will taint their opinion of your claim.
  6. Avoid illegal drugs and/or alcohol. The use of drugs or alcohol will immediately send up a red flag for the judge and it will put a strike against your case.

There are no guarantees when going into a hearing. Following these tips will give you the added advantage of showing the judge the severity of your disability and the need for you to receive disability benefits.