Once your case finally gets to the hearing date, you are probably really excited. At the same time, you probably have a lot of questions about how the hearing will work. The first thing to understand about a hearing is who the people are at the hearing and how they are going to affect you. At a hearing, there will be a judge, a vocational expert, your attorney, and of course you. Sometimes, at the judge's discretion, a medical expert might be there too.
At the hearing, the judge will ultimately be determining if you are disabled as defined by social Security disability law. Your judge will review your past work, listen to your side of the story, review your medical records. Next, the judge will ask the vocational expert some questions about how your limitations might affect your ability to do the kind of work you have done in the past. The judge will then ask if your limitations would prevent any other kind of work.
For example, let's say that your testimony and the medical records suggests that you are having around four or five days a month where you experience a mind splitting headache to the point where you are nauseated and otherwise unable to leave your room. The Judge would ask the vocational expert if your past work is the kind of job that would accommodate those kind of headaches. The judge will then ask if there are any other jobs in the national economy that would be willing to work around your problem headache. (incidentally, the vocational expert would testify that there are no jobs that will accommodate to someone that misses work four or five days a month due to headaches)
Without the support of a vocational expert, it is extremely difficult to win your case. Of course your attorney will be present at your hearing and will have an opportunity to ask the vocational expert questions in order to get supporting testimony.
While attending a hearing may seem scary, there is no need to fear. If you hire a local attorney, he or she will probably know each person in the room personally. Having personal knowledge of the judge's tendencies and unique interests is invaluable when presenting your case.
The hearing is the final process of your Social Security disability case. This can be both exciting and cause anxiety. Before going to your social security disability hearing, you should meet with your attorney and go over any questions that you may have. Knowing who will be there and what to expect can help you be more prepared and confident and ultimately more persuasive.