You may have a need for Social Security Disability due to a recent injury. But if the Social Security Administration turns down your request for benefits, all is not lost. You can still ask the SSA to reconsider their denial. Should the SSA affirm its original denial, you may request a hearing before an Administrative Law Judge.
The appeals process may take some time, but you probably need disability benefits as soon as you can get them. The SSA understands this and provides some tips to help you keep your appeals hearing on schedule and avoid delays.
Avoid postponing a hearing
Something may come up that makes attending your hearing difficult and you may decide to reschedule your hearing. This should be an option of last resort since it will drag out your appeal. The SSA schedules hearings two to three months before the actual hearing date, so you could end up adding months to your wait time before your hearing.
Appoint a representative early
You may want a representative to speak for you at the hearing. If so, you should pick one as early as you can to give your representative time to review your case and make other preparations. If you choose a representative on the date on your hearing, you may have to postpone your hearing until a later date to give your representative time to prepare.
Notify Social Security about address changes
A lot can happen from the date you request your appeals hearing up to the hearing date itself. For example, you may have to temporarily move out of your home or you might move to a permanent new address. Regardless, the SSA should know if you change your address, so notify them as soon as you can to avoid communication delays.
Submit your medical evidence
Your medical exams, doctor’s opinions and other evidence are crucial to your case. Should you come up with new evidence or have a need to update evidence you have already submitted, SSA recommends you submit it no less than five business days prior to your hearing. If the evidence is strong enough, it may cause the SSA to accept your appeal and forgo the need for a hearing altogether.