Your Augusta Social Security disability attorney will inform you that an Administrative Law Judge (ALJ) will preside over your Social Security hearing. Even though you will not be required to rise when the ALJ enters the room, you should still give the judge the same type of respect you would give to a typical court judge.
The ALJ will render a decision regarding your disability benefits—one that is independent of and not influenced by the previous denials of your case. Nationwide, over 50% of ALJs’ decisions favor the claimant. Your best chance of winning disability benefits at any level of the Social Security disability appeals system is with a hearing before an ALJ.
Because no lawyer will cross-examine you, the hearing before the administrative law judge is non-adversarial in nature. You will not be cross-examined by the judge either. His or her job is to simply discover all facts concerning your claim; not be for or against you.
Don’t Take Your Anger Out on the ALJ
Often claimants are angry by the time they have a hearing before an ALJ. They have been denied twice by the Social Security process and sometimes have not received any logical reason for denial. They are frustrated with the time-consuming and cumbersome system.
Your Augusta Social Security disability attorney will advise you to refrain from taking your anger out on the administrative law judge. The judge is neither responsible for the system, nor for creating all of its inherent difficulties and your specific problems with it. Trying to inform the judge of these problems is counterproductive, since he or she is more than likely already aware of the system’s problems. It is also counterproductive to ask the judge questions such as, “Why did it take so long for a hearing to be scheduled?” or “Why was my claim denied?”
Be Straightforward and Respectful
Your Augusta Social Security disability attorney will only want you to ask questions concerning the times when you are not sure what you are being asked. The legal language used by lawyers and judges can be confusing and complicated. If you do not understand a question do not let embarrassment or intimidation keep you from politely asking for further explanation.
Speak to the judge with courtesy, candor and respect. There is no need to be afraid or feel you need to impress the judge with legal language or medical terminology. Inform the judge of all your problems in a clear, concise way, talking to him or her as you would an old friend.
If you have questions concerning your Social Security disability case and would like to speak with a knowledgeable and competent Augusta Social Security disability attorney, please contact the law firm of Wilkinson & Magruder, LLP by calling 706-737-0771.