I will consult with you to determine the merits of your application for benefits advising you how to prepare yourself for the hearing by understanding what happens and who will be at the hearing. With representation you have someone to explain things as they happen. You have someone to explain what will happen next. You have someone keeping records of the developments of your case.
I will gather medical evidence and communicate with health care providers about your case. Your impairment(s) must interfere with basic work related activities for your claim to be considered. The SSA maintains a list of impairments for each body system so severe they automatically mean you will be found disabled. If your condition is not on the list, the SSA will consider whether your impairments equal or essentially result in the same level of limitation(s) as those on the list. The SSA will not make a decision based only on your doctor’s opinion about your work capacity.
I will insure your work ability is accurately presented. If you are working and your earnings are more than a certain amount per month (click here to see the amount) , you generally cannot be considered disabled . If you can do the kind of work you have done in the last 15 years you generally cannot be considered disabled. If you cannot engage in substantial gainful activity (work) by reason of any medically determinable physical or mental impairment which can be expected to result in death or has/will last twelve consecutive months, you should have a case.
I will present arguments on your behalf to insure your case is understood. I will cross examine adverse witnesses at your hearing to protect your case. The hearings are intended to be non-adversarial and to some degree they are informal. But, it is still a legal proceeding where witnesses take an oath to tell the truth and the Judge decides the case. In some cases the Judge will call an expert witness to explain medical and/or vocational issues related to the SSA disability program. The hearing is very important. You are not required to be represented at the hearing. However, many people are represented to insure the case is fully presented. I think it is a good idea to have an experienced representative at your hearing to represent your interests.