Making a good impression at your Social Security disability hearing is an absolute necessity. An Augusta disability lawyer can accompany you to your hearing to make sure everything goes smoothly. Generally, keep in mind the following tips:
- Arrive at least a half hour early
- Dress comfortably
- Stay quiet in the waiting room and other areas
- Silence your cell phone
Your Augusta disability lawyer will receive a copy of your Notice of Hearing and notify you of the date and time. Your attorney has already reviewed your file and knows your case. If you want to go over your file with your attorney, you may certainly do so ahead of time, but it isn’t really necessary to allocate extra time on hearing day to review your file, even though the Notice of Hearing might say that.
You should plan to arrive at least a half hour early for the hearing, and allow extra time for traffic, parking, and walking from your car into the building, especially if you use a cane or other walking aid. Since the hearings usually start on time, it’s extremely important to plan ahead so you are not late.
You don’t need to wear a suit and tie or dress clothes to your hearing. Just dress comfortably and appropriately, as you would for any informal meeting or appointment. If you use a cane, brace or wheelchair, bring those as usual.
What to Expect During the Hearing
Once you arrive at your hearing, your Augusta disability lawyer will advise you to refrain from making any comments about your case in public areas including the hallway, the waiting room, the restroom and the elevator. If someone overhears a comment, especially a Social Security employee, it could negatively affect your case, even if you were just making a joke.
Make sure to turn off your cell phone before you go into the hearing so there will be no interruptions.
The hearing room is usually just a regular conference room with one table for the participants, and a separate table for the judge. There will be a recording made of your hearing, so follow these tips for answering questions:
- Talk slowly and clearly
- Don’t mumble or whisper; the judge needs to hear your answers
- Use “yes” or “no”, instead of shaking your head or saying “uh huh”
- Always use words, not gestures (e.g., if you point at your arm, say that you are pointing at your arm)
Contact Social Security Disability
For more information about preparing for your Social Security Disability hearing, call an Augusta disability lawyer at Wilkinson & Magruder, LLP today at (888) 724-8844.