Certain procedures are in place that govern the sequence of events at a Social Security disability hearing. An experienced Chicago Social Security disability lawyer can assist you as you prepare to take part.
Opening the Hearing
Typically, it is the role of the ALJ (administrative law judge) to begin the proceedings by formally opening the record, acknowledging those in attendance and documenting that your Chicago Social Security disability attorney is serving as your representative. Either you or your attorney will be asked for confirmation of those statements. Normally, the ALJ will recommend that you relax and will try to ease any nervousness you may be feeling.
An opening statement may consist of:
1. An assertion that the administrative law judge is independent of the office that denied the claim and the declaration that the hearing is de novo.
2. A declaration that the proceedings are being recorded. Oral testimony and hard-copy documentation from you, your Chicago Social Security disability lawyer and others will be accepted as evidence and made part of the official record.
3. An outline or overview of how the hearing will proceed. This will consist of the following:
a. Testimony will be obtained from one speaker at a time.
b. Witnesses are under oath, and cross-questioning by your Chicago Social Security disability lawyer may take place.
c. Evidence in the hearing is not subject to the rules of evidence used in a court of law.
d. There will be sufficient time for your Chicago Social Security disability lawyer to submit briefs concerning the law or the facts of the case or to present pertinent oral arguments.
4. An overview of the procedures already undertaken in the claim (procedural history).
5. A recitation of the issues to be considered.
6. An overview of the exhibits to be presented, consideration of any objections and, once these have been reviewed and decided upon, admission of the proposed documentation.
Waiving of Steps Five and Six
If your Chicago Social Security disability lawyer agrees, the reading of the procedural history and statement of issues may be dispensed with upon request by the ALJ. Normally the attorney will give consent if there is nothing out of the ordinary that prevents his/her doing so.
Be Sure You Understand
If you are facing this situation, don’t face it alone. Contact a Chicago Social Security disability lawyer today.