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You’ve likely waited some time for this day and lots of questions may be running through your mind. We have put together a list of frequently asked questions that we hope you find helpful. As always, if you have a question not covered on this list or need further details, please give us a call at 1-877-JANDILS.
(medications, DL, hearing notice, etc.) Typically, all you would need to bring are the hearing notice and a photo ID.
There is no way to determine that before a hearing. It is determined on a case-by-case basis by the Judge. As long as you are honest with the Judge in your testimony and what you say is consistent with what you’ve told your doctors, you give yourself the best chance of being found disabled.
The hearing is casual and there are no strict rules about dress code. You can wear anything from what you would wear to go to Walmart to what you would wear to go to church or business casual wear. The only thing we would ask is that you don’t wear something that would be disrespectful to the court like clothes with holes in them or screen print that would be offensive.
As long as you are ok going in alone, that is typically best. The issue is that somebody else is not allowed to testify if they come in with you, so you could not look to them for answers. They would have to be like a fly on the wall. Since it is natural to try to get answers from that person if you don’t know an answer, it would be best to do so on your own. If you have to have somebody come in for moral support, you should let your attorney know, however it will ultimately be up to the Judge to allow that person to come in or not.
If you would normally bring it when you go outside of your home, you can bring it or if you are having a bad day to where you would usually need to use it, you can as well, but if you wouldn’t normally bring it on that day, then you shouldn’t.
The Judge will want to hear from you how your impairments affect you personally. They have the medical evidence and any diagnosis that was made on your impairments, but they need to hear from you about limitations and symptoms you have and how that might affect your ability to work. Your attorney can make any legal arguments necessary, but you know your limitations and symptoms better than anybody else, so the Judge will expect to hear from you about those things.
Your attorney will usually find you in the waiting area. There aren’t usually a lot of people waiting, so it is usually easy for them to find you.
Most likely not. If your attorney has an idea of what might happen, they will let you know before you leave that day, but many times they will not know. Even if your attorney has an idea of what might happen, nothing is final until you get the decision back in writing.
The upper end of decision timelines right now is around 2-3 months. Typically, a decision will not take much longer than that and some can come back more quickly. If you have waited 2 and a half to 3 months and still haven’t received anything back in writing, you can contact our office and we can look into it to see if anything is holding up the decision.
No, there is always an option to appeal the decision to the Appeals Council. We would write a brief on your behalf regarding any legal error and they would review the brief, your testimony, and the medical evidence to determine if a legal error was made. If one was made, typically, they will send the decision back to the Judge for another hearing which could result in an approval depending on how significant the error was. If you are SSI eligible or your DLI has not expired, your attorney may suggest that you file a new application instead of appealing.
Jan Dils, Attorneys at Law