Disability attorneys of Michigan will explain why you should have legal representation at your disability hearing.
The Basics Of A Disability Hearing
When seeking Social Security disability benefits, it is important to understand that the regulations are complicated. Because of that, it is wise to seek legal assistance from Social Security disability lawyers in Michigan. The case will be heard by an Administrative Law Judge (ALJ) who will decide on your case.
Important Reasons To Have Legal Help
Having legal assistance is important for the following reasons:
1) To question the medical experts
The Social Security Administration (SSA) will likely have a medical expert give testimony regarding your disability and its severity. The medical expert will study the medical evidence supporting your contention that you require disability benefits and provide an opinion as to whether or not your particular situation meets the criteria for the SSA’s Listing of Impairments. In the listings, there will be a range of medical issues and what is required for your condition to warrant an approval for benefits. If it does not specifically match an impairment on the listings, the medical expert can determine if it is equivalent to impairments on the listings. If, in the opinion of the medical expert, you do not meet the requirements, your attorney can do the following:
- Lodge an objection to the questions the ALJ asks the medical expert
- Lodge an objection if the medical expert does not grant sufficient weight to the opinion of your doctor
- Decide whether or not the medical expert took all evidence into consideration
- Decide whether or not the medical expert has accurately gauged the requirements on the listings
2) To question the vocational expert
Frequently, the SSA will have a vocational expert give testimony at your hearing. The testimony from the vocational expert will be important for the ALJ to determine if you are able to do work you have done in the past and if there are jobs in the market that you can do in spite of your disability. This is an important factor in receiving an approval or denial for benefits. The ALJ might ask improper questions to the vocational expert. Your attorney will be able to see this immediately and object while the hearing is taking place. In addition, your attorney will have the chance to ask the vocational expert questions to make sure all of your limitations have been taken into account. Even if the ALJ decides that you are not disabled, the questions asked of the vocational expert can lay the foundation to appeal.
3) Gather medical opinions from your treating medical professionals
The SSA has certain regulations that grant more weight to the opinion of your treating doctors when compared to other doctors. With that in mind, lawyers will spend a lot of time gathering the medical opinions of your treating doctors. An attorney will understand how the SSA comes to a decision on a disability claim. That will make it easier for the attorney to assist the doctor in crafting a letter that will address the medical and legal factors.
Your attorney might create a questionnaire that the doctor will fill out. This will describe the medical opinions regarding your case. A doctor simply writing that you are disabled without evidence is rarely sufficient to be approved. The doctor will have clinical notes that might be enough to receive an approval. If not, the doctor will have to go into greater detail.
Your Lawyer Should Know The Local Administrative Law Judges
Since your attorney will be experienced in helping clients with their Social Security disability claims, it is likely that there will be a familiarity with the ALJs in the area. Different ALJs will have individual ways of handling cases. This can be beneficial during the case. Certain ALJs might have tendencies such as being harder on those with addiction issues than other ALJs. An attorney who is aware of this can tailor the strategy to counteract any problems. The ALJ might be someone who likes to handle the majority of the questioning in a hearing. If that is the case, your attorney will be able to ask questions that the ALJ did not ask and make sure these areas are part of the record.
Call Experienced Disability Attorneys Of Michigan
If you are filing for disability, call (888) 282-0719 to speak to Marc J. Shefman, one of the experienced Social Security disability lawyers in Michigan.