What will the hearing look like?

If you’ve been thinking that Nebraska disability court is anything like the courtrooms presented on television dramas, think again.

Many claim appeal hearings will take place at a hearing office at one of Social Security’s Office of Adjudication and Review (ODAR) facilities. However, since Nebraska’s only ODAR office is in Omaha, it will be necessary for you to travel to your hearing in Omaha.. It’s important for the hearing to take place in a private space, where uninvolved parties cannot overhear the proceedings.

Disability appeal hearings are somewhat informal. A hearing office at ODAR typically looks a lot like a conference room. The Administrative Law Judge (ALJ) will typically sit at the head of the table or a small judge’s bench at the front of the room.

Who will be at my hearing?

Usually there aren’t more than 6 participants in the room with you. They may include:

  • You
  • Your Fremont disability attorney
  • The ALJ
  • The judge’s assistant, who records the hearing
  • Vocational  experts
  • Your spouse, friend, or family member

It’s possible that one or more of the experts testifying at your case may telecommute to your hearing; the only requirement is that you are notified of this ahead of time.

What will happen at my hearing?

The judge’s assistant will greet you in the waiting area and bring you, your representation, and your guest into the hearing office.

You or your representation are often permitted to make a short opening statement, explaining:

  • Your medical condition or conditions
  • The location of supporting information about your conditions in your exhibit file
  • How your condition limits your ability to work
  • Important evidence you feel was misunderstood or overlooked in previous determinations

The judge will interview about your claim. He or she may ask about:

  • Your past work
  • Your medical condition or conditions
  • The regularity and intensity of your symptoms
  • How you have found that your impairment affects your work performance

During the hearing be honest and offer concrete details. Don’t gloss over or exaggerate your symptoms.

Next, the ALJ will hear testimony from any expert witnesses who are present. You’ll also be able to cross examine any expert witnesses about their testimony. If you have an attorney, your attorney will know what questions to ask to bring out deficiencies in the witnesses testimony..

Hearings typically last no more than an hour and will be recorded and transcribed. Judges do not usually decide at the hearing, but several weeks afterward.

A Fremont disability attorney can serve as a knowledgeable advocate with crucial experience in the disability claim process. For a no-cost evaluation, contact Cuddigan Law at 402-933-5405 or [email protected]. Be sure to order our free and informative report: Give Yourself the Best Chance of Winning Your Social Security Disability Case.

Timothy J. Cuddigan (Founder - Retired)
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Omaha Social Security and Veterans Disability Lawyer With Over 40 Years Experience