What to do When you receive a Hearing Notice
After waiting (patiently or impatiently) for what feels like forever, you will eventually receive your hearing notice. Here is what a “Notice of Hearing” looks like:
Most often, unless the client has nerves of steel, you will experience feelings, worry and will have questions. My clients share many feelings, thoughts and questions when they finally receive that Notice that they have been waiting for:
Low Level Anxiety and / or even….Heart Pounding Panic
EEEEEEEK! I HAVE A HEARING!!
OMG, DO I HAVE TO TESTIFY?
Do I have to talk or will you talk for me?
What are “they” going to ask me?
What do I say?
Do I need witnesses?
Who will be at the hearing?
Are you going to be with me?
How does a telephone hearing work?
How does a video hearing work?
How does a telephone or video hearing compare to an In-person Hearing????
Which is better?
First, if you are “freaking out” because you received your Notice of Hearing before an Administrative Law Judge, please relax. Easier said than done, I know, but this is essential to the process. Preparation is a critical part of the administrative appeal process. If you let your anxiety run away with you, it is likely to have a negative impact on the outcome of the case. It can reduce your ability to participate effectively in the hearing process. This stage of your disability application requires all of your focus, patience and most importantly, your calm.
I will be with you at every step in preparing for your hearing. We will schedule a time to talk in advance of the hearing and to address all of your questions. At your hearing, I will appear at and represent you before the judge. Before the hearing, I will discuss what you need to say to the judge. I will explain who will be present and attending your hearing, how a telephone or video hearing works, how a telephone or video hearing compares to an in person hearing, when witnesses will be helpful and when they will not be helpful (or could hurt), the number of people in total who attend the hearing, and finally, we will discuss in detail the evidentiary information that is needed for the hearing. This Blog will go through each of these most common questions as outlined above.
First, in preparation for the hearing, the most important thing for you to do is make sure you have provided your attorney with a printout of your prescriptions from your pharmacy. Ask the pharmacist to print out a list of all of your medications for the past year. If the pharmacist is willing to go back more than 1 year, get a print out showing 2 years worth of prescriptions.
The next thing you need to do is make a list. I cannot emphasize enough just how important this is. Identify each and every medical provider you have had in the past year. Making this list for your lawyer is the most important part of preparing for your hearing. It is something you should be thinking about from the time you apply for benefits to the time that you request a hearing before an Administrative Law Judge. Clients should have a business card from each of their medical providers. It will show the doctor or providers’ full name, the name of the practice, the address, telephone number and fax number. If you don’t have a business card from your medical providers, call and ask for the doctor or providers’ full name, the name of the practice, the address, telephone number and fax number. Write it down. Email the information to me.
Most medical offices are very busy. It will probably take 30 days for your records to arrive. That is why, when a hearing has been scheduled, it is very important that you have this list ready to give to me. We want to ensure that we have a complete medical record when we appear before an Administrative Law Judge!
Next time, I will discuss what kind of information I will be requesting from your medical providers, what treatment records are important and what treatment records are not important, and much, much more.
Until next post,
With Best wishes,
MERYL ANNE SPAT
Attorney at Law