Representing Yourself at a Disability Hearing

If you represent yourself at your disability hearing, you will save thousands of dollars in attorney fees (assuming you win your case). One of the main reasons people hire disability attorneys is because a qualified attorney will be familiar with Social Security law and will be able to give your case the best representation possible. However, you are entitled to represent yourself if you choose to do so.

If you are going to represent yourself at your disability hearing, you will want to make sure that you pay attention to details like deadlines and paperwork. After your last denial you have 60 days to file for a disability hearing. Make sure that you have filed for your hearing within those 60 days. If you file late, your case will probably get dismissed and you will miss your opportunity for a hearing. You will also want to be sure that you have current medical records from any of your own doctors documenting what your medical condition is and why you are not able to perform in your previous employment capacity. Make sure your hearing office also has your most current medical records in the case file before your hearing.

You need to attend your disability hearing. On the date of your disability hearing make sure that you do not arrive late. Be familiar with where the hearing will be held and know how long the drive will take. Plan ahead and leave yourself extra time in case there is a lot of traffic. It is important that you make a good impression. It is a good idea to practice what you want to say to the judge so that you sound confident and clear with what your disability entails and your limitations.

Dress to impress – this is still a court, even though  the hearing will be held in a more casual setting. You should avoid wearing very casual clothes like shorts, jeans, flip flops or tank tops. Men should wear khakis or nice slacks and a button-down or polo shirt. Women should wear a simple dress or a casual suit. You want to show respect for the court and also present yourself well.

You can represent yourself at a disability hearing. Be prepared by filing for the hearing before your deadline, arriving to the hearing on time, being ready to be well-spoken and dressing to present yourself appropriately.