When you leave your Social Security disability appeal hearing you may scratch your head and wonder what exactly just happened. Indianapolis Social Security disability lawyer Scott Lewis, at times, can give his clients a pretty good idea of what just transpired in the hearing room. Mr. Lewis represents hundreds of Indiana Social Security disability claimants each year and has found there can be some signs during a Social Security disability hearing that may indicate an Administrative Law Judge (ALJ) is leaning one way or another regarding the decision in your appeal. There are a few factors that may help determine what the outcome will be.
Who was your Administrative Law Judge (ALJ)? Administrative Law Judge approval percentages on Social Security disability claims can be all over the board. Some Judges may approve a very small number of claims, while other Judges may approve a large percentage of the claims they preside over. Indiana Social Security lawyer Scott Lewis has represented his Indiana neighbors in front of all of the current Administrative Law Judges in the Indianapolis ODAR office and usually has a pretty good idea how often they find individuals disabled. Also, there are statistics put out by the Social Security Administration (SSA) showing the approval rates for Administrative Law Judges.
What did the Medical Expert (ME) testify to at your hearing? Medical experts are sometimes used at Social Security disability hearings. These experts are supposed to analyze the medical records in your Social Security disability file to determine what your medical condition is, whether or not you meet one of Social Security’s Listing of Impairments, and what your limitations may be related to your mental or physical condition. Some Administrative Law Judges do not use medical experts, but if they do, at times they can rely heavily on their testimony. It is important to remember even if there is a medical expert at your hearing the Administrative Law Judge does not have to agree with the expert and may make an independent judgment regardless of the testimony of the medical expert.
What did the Vocational Expert (VE) say about jobs you could perform? If there is a vocational or “job” expert at your hearing, which in Mr. Lewis’ experience there usually is, you may hear testimony about what your past jobs entailed and whether or not you can perform other types of employment. A Job experts testimony is usually taken toward the end of your hearing and they are generally asked based on certain restrictions and limitations you suffer from due to your disabling condition(s) whether you can perform your past work or any other work. The vocational expert’s testimony can be important at your disability hearing because the primary question in adult disability hearings is whether or not you can work.
Taking into consideration all of the above mentioned factors, Mr. Lewis usually tries to give his Indiana Social Security disability clients a good idea of which way the outcome is headed. It is important to remember though that no matter what has transpired before, during, or after your hearing finding a favorable decision in you mailbox may be the only sure way to know you have won your claim.. If you have questions regarding your Indiana Social Security disability claim or are confused and frustrated with the process you can contact Mr. Lewis and his staff for a free case evaluation. Contact Mr. Lewis at (317) 423-8888 today for your free consultation.