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How to Read Your Social Security Disability Notice of Hearing in New Orleans
You received a notice from Social Security officially scheduling your disability hearing.
After a long wait, what a relief. Your chance to explain why you need disability income—face to face with an important decision-maker—is finally here.
But with the relief comes a little anxiety. Now you must prepare to talk to a Social Security administrative law judge.
At the office of Gary Sells, Disability Benefits Advocate, we strongly recommend that you work with a professional representative who can get you ready for your hearing.
For more on understanding and responding to your notice of hearing, keep reading.
How to Respond to Your Social Security Disability Notice of Hearing
You usually receive a notice of hearing 75 to 90 days before your hearing date.
The notice will tell you the day, time and location of your hearing. It also might explain what will happen at your hearing and what information the judge will use to make a decision.
The notice gives you the option of sending back a form called the “Acknowledgement of Receipt (Notice of Hearing.)”
You don’t have to send this form back, but you should.
The acknowledgement form lets you declare that you will be there at your hearing. This helps make sure nothing gets lost, delayed or mistaken between now and your hearing day, and everyone understands that the hearing is on.
Now’s Your Chance to Submit More Medical Evidence
Once you have your hearing date, one of the most important things you can do is get all of your records together.
The time before your hearing is a chance to submit more records of your medical treatment confirming that you have serious health problems stopping you from working.
It’s important to show that you’ve been receiving consistent treatment for your health problems, not just going into the doctor once or twice.
A disability advocate like Gary Sells can tell you what kind of treatment you should be getting to prove your condition is severe enough to qualify for disability benefits.
At our office, we can even point you to health care providers around the New Orleans area that offer services like low-cost medical testing.
Don’t wait too long to send in new medical records. The judge might not accept new evidence if he or she receives it right before your hearing.
What Are the Letters to Experts?
Your Social Security Disability notice of hearing also might include copies of letters to witnesses the judge is asking to testify at your hearing.
A vocational expert, for example, could testify about the kinds of work you’re able, or unable, to do.
The judge includes letters like this with your notice of hearing as a signal to you that he or she intends to call an expert to talk about your claim.
This helps you prepare to ask questions of the expert, or respond to things the expert might say.
You can see why it’s important to have a professional representative working for you when you’re going into a disability hearing.
An experienced disability advocate knows how to cross-examine these witnesses and make sure the judge understands your situation. You don’t have to do this yourself. In fact, it’s best to have support at your hearing.
Get Professional Help with Your Social Security Disability Appeal
When you’re appealing a Social Security Disability denial and you receive your notice of hearing, you’ve reached a point in the process where you should get a professional advocate helping you.
Gary Sells and his team of disability advocates 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.