Why It’s Important to Meet with Your Attorney before Your Social Security Disability Hearing

May 11, 2022

At Nash Disability Law, we’re proud to say we have helped more Chicago-area people get Social Security Disability benefits than any other law firm.

What we’ve learned in our many years of representing people with disability claims is that the path to winning benefits is long and difficult to navigate. To win it takes a good team—our skilled and seasoned staff and you—working together.

When you work with a disability attorney, you’re entering into an important relationship. So, even in our post-COVID-19 era of appointments by video call and conducting business online, it’s important to meet your disability lawyer in person.

A meeting can be important for the exchange of essential information, of course, but it’s also an opportunity to build a relationship and trust. This is never more important than when you have a hearing coming up with a disability judge.

At Nash Disability Law, we are local Chicago area attorneys. If your case goes to a hearing before an Administrative Law Judge, at our disability law firm, you will always have the opportunity to meet your attorney in advance to prepare.

When we meet with you about your disability hearing, our goal is to solidify the facts needed to win your case. Meeting with your attorney is an essential part of preparation.

At your meeting with your attorney, they will discuss several things to help you gain comfort and confidence going into your hearing for disability benefits. The topics include:

  • The hearing procedure
  • What to expect from the Administrative Law Judge
  • The history and future course of your medical treatment
  • Questions you are likely to be asked
  • Strategies for presenting facts in the most beneficial way
  • How to handle difficult aspects of your case
  • Witness testimony

Your attorney will also discuss their strategy for asking you questions in front of the judge—and why they plan on asking some questions that the judge may not.

Many of the facts that your lawyer will go over may seem obvious. You may already know some of it is covered in your medical records. When your attorney returns to this same information, they are trying to gauge a number of factors:

  • How well can you convey these facts
  • What follow-up questions need to be asked to clarify these facts
  • Are there any nuances to these facts that the medical records don’t capture

In certain situations, your disability attorney may ask a friend or family member with knowledge of your situation to provide information.

Sometimes the information they have may be so important that your attorney will ask them to testify at your hearing as well. Whether it’s you or another person talking to your lawyer, we need everyone to be totally open and candid, so that we can put on the strongest possible case.

At the meeting, your attorney will confirm all of your medical sources, so we can get all the right records.

We will confirm that we have the opinions of your treating doctors, often in the form of a Residual Functional Capacity (“RFC”) questionnaire. This form is separate from the medical records and helps your medical provider explain why you have a qualifying disability under Social Security’s guidelines.

The medical records and your doctors’ opinions will be the basis for much of the judge’s decision. (See “The Secret to Winning Your Disability Case.”)

At the conclusion of your meeting with your disability lawyer, they may give you more instructions about how to prepare for your hearing.

This could range from keeping track of how many times a health-related event happens to you over the course of the day, to just being aware of how you approach situations in life differently because of your health problems.

These instructions aren’t just busywork. This is to help you gain greater perspective about how your medical conditions impact your life, so you can provide strong testimony at your hearing for benefits.

Meeting with us can increase your odds of winning disability benefits when you can’t work because of serious health problems. To get started, contact us at Nash Disability Law for a FREE EVALUATION OF YOUR CASE.

You can call us at 312.443.0900 or FILL OUT A FORM ON THIS PAGE to send us an email, so we can help you get the disability benefits you have rightfully earned.