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How to Read the Hearing Request Letter for Your Social Security Disability Appeal in New Orleans
When you’re appealing a Social Security Disability denial, you get a lot of letters in the mail asking you to provide more information. Appeals are complicated. You have decisions to make and deadlines to meet.
One of the letters you’ll see confirms that you have requested a hearing with an administrative law judge.
You should get this letter soon after you ask for a hearing but before you receive a notice giving you the exact date and time of your hearing.
The letter provides information on how the hearing process works. And it asks you a key question: whether you want to meet with your administrative law judge over a video link.
Before you answer, you need to determine if it would be better in your case to appear by video or in person.
At the office of Gary Sells, Disability Benefits Advocate, we strongly recommend that you work with a professional representative who can give you advice on the video conferencing decision and all other parts of your appeal.
For more on responding to the hearing request confirmation letter, keep reading.
Should I Agree to a Video Hearing in My Social Security Disability Appeal?
When you receive the letter from Social Security thanking you for requesting a hearing with a judge, it will ask you if you have any objections to a video hearing in your disability case.
You must answer within 30 days if you don’t want a video hearing. Otherwise, you could get assigned a video hearing whether you want it or not.
In a video hearing, you go to an office in a different place from where the judge is located, and you speak to each other through a large video screen.
Other people in the room, such as your disability advocate, can also join the meeting.
Many people have video hearings for their Social Security Disability appeals. But it’s not always the best option.
Here are some key points in deciding on a video hearing:
- Sometimes a video hearing means your judge is far away. This could be a disadvantage because your local New Orleans area disability advocate may not know them and how they like to work.
- Appearing physically in the same place can encourage a more personal mood.
- If you live close to the hearing office, it may not be necessary or more convenient to have a hearing by video.
- But if you live far from the hearing office, a video hearing can be easier for you on hearing day, allowing you to go someplace closer to your home.
The letter includes a form for you to declare that you don’t want a video hearing. You only need to return the form if you object to a having a video hearing.
What Else Does the Hearing Request Confirmation Letter Cover?
This letter also includes pointers about your hearing process:
- It reminds you submit all your evidence—medical and otherwise—as soon as possible, so your case moves as fast as possible.
- It explains that an administrative law judge will review your evidence before your hearing.
- It says you will get a notice telling you when and where your hearing will take place.
- It explains that you can bring witnesses to the hearing.
- It says the administrative law judge will make a decision afterward, and it can take three months to receive a written decision.
- It stresses that Social Security cannot tell you anything about the decision until you receive the written notice.
Get Professional Help with Your Social Security Disability Appeal
When you’re appealing a Social Security Disability denial and you receive the letter confirming your request for a hearing has been received, you’ve reached a point in the process where you should get a professional advocate to help you.
Disability advocate Gary Sells and his team have helped thousands of people in the New Orleans area get through this process.
We’ll evaluate your case for free. We don’t charge a fee until you win benefits.
And even then, our fee comes out of the back benefits Social Security awards for the time you spent waiting for a favorable decision. The fee doesn’t come out of your payments going forward.