The Social Security Hearing
I’m not sure where this picture was taken, but this is pretty much what a hearing room looks like. Cozy, right? Social Security hearings are informal and non-adversarial. That means, it isn’t like Law & Order. Lawyers don’t walk around arguing and objecting and making people confess! It is much more relaxed.
However, you (the claimant) will have to answer questions from the Judge who will be sitting behind the elevated desk. Your lawyer cannot answer questions for you. That is probably the biggest misconception about having a lawyer at the hearing.
But that doesn’t mean your lawyer should just sit there! Your lawyer can ask you questions, ask questions of the experts and argue that you are disabled (with opening and closing statements). Your lawyer can also explain everything to you, before and after the hearing.
Nowadays, the hearing is a bit cramped…with all the electronic gadgets and wires. Although SSA has provided computer access, most attorneys and experts bring their own laptops. Social Security is still in the transitional phase to a paper-less environment and this is one of the consequences. (I frankly applaud their efforts thus far).
Do non-represented claimants use the computer that SSA provides them during the hearing? Having only attended hearings with my clients, I have no idea!
If you need help at your Social Security hearing, call us at 1-800-481-0302 or visit our website.