More than two out of three initial applications for Social Security Disability benefits are denied. But you can appeal and request a hearing. This is your best chance to present your claim because you get to make your case in person. The hearing is the most important part of your disability claim, so being thoroughly prepared is critical.

This is where an attorney can really help you. At Cuddigan Law from the moment we start representing you, we work hard to gather all the medical records from your health care providers that will support your case and we thoroughly prepare you for your hearing.

The Social Security Administration will set the date of your hearing about 60 days in advance. We then promptly notify you and your medical care providers. About 30 days in advance of your hearing we move into high gear to prepare you for your hearing.

At your hearing you will be questioned by the administrative judge and by your attorney. We will prepare you, but not coach you, to answer our questions and the judge’s questions about why you are unable to work. It is vitally important that you are ready, prepared and confident at your hearing, but not coached. Judges can recognize coaching.

During your hearing there will be a lot of questions thrown at you. So you are prepared, here are some of the questions we will cover in the pre-hearing meetings:

  • When and why did you stop working?
  • What impairments do you have that are supported by medical evidence?
  • What limitations do you have?
  • Do you have pain, fatigue, or other symptoms that limit your ability to work?
  • What is your medical treatment?
  • What medications do you take and what are the side effects?
  • What medical or other evidence supports the date your disability started?
  • What work, if any, did you do after the start of your disability?
  • What work have you done in the past 15 years?
  • Why can't you perform your past work?
  • Why you can’t perform any other work?

Not only will you be asked a lot of questions during your hearing, but there also may be expert witnesses who may challenge your disability claim. So having a strong advocate on your side can work to your advantage. Call us for a free evaluation of your case.


Sean D. Cuddigan
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SSA and VA Disability Attorney in Omaha, Nebraska