gavel5 Tips to Help Your Lawyer Win Your Disability Appeal

Appealing a Social Security Disability denial can be extremely frustrating for the applicant. There are numerous factors that can create this feeling but some of the most prevalent are the many months waiting for the disability hearing (now more than a year on average), lack of income, and, of course, dealing with the disability itself.

You will probably not hear from your lawyer very often during the time period from the second denial to the hearing before an administrative law judge (ALJ). Silence does not mean you have selected a bad lawyer, it just means that there is not a lot happening. However, what you do during this time period has the potential to harm or help your case before the judge.

Here are some things you can do to help your case.


  • Visit your doctors on a regular basis. Make sure you do not miss any appointments. If it looks like one will be missed, reschedule it for the next available time. Missed appointments can give the appearance that you do not need to visit the doctor, especially if the reason behind the miss was going on vacation, visiting a theme park or some other unnecessary excuse.

  • Follow your doctor’s advice. It is imperative that you take the steps recommended for additional therapy, testing or treatment. Even if it is true, the excuse of “lack of money” may not sit well with the ALJ, especially if the treatment might prevent your full disability. Your lawyer can also make your case stronger if the recommended additional treatment fails to improve your condition.

  • Make sure your lawyer receives any medical records generated during the waiting time. If you visit a new doctor, become hospitalized, or have any medical tests be sure to update the lawyer right away and provide them with the dates of service, medical facility and doctor’s name.

  • Notify your attorney if your condition changes. A worsening condition can be helpful for strengthening your case and possibly speeding up the appeal process. If your condition improves your lawyer may need to restructure the case- a scenario that they may need time to develop. Just because your condition improves to the point that you no longer qualify for disability benefits does not mean that you are not entitled to the benefits during the time period that you were disabled. However, your lawyer needs to be prepared to present your case with that perspective.

  • Always be truthful. Sometimes Social Security Administration investigators review appealed cases prior to the hearing before the Administrative Law Judge. Your lawyer does not want to try to explain video showing you doing things your application states you cannot do. Recently SSA investigators publicized the case of a man who purchased a cane, “limped” into his doctor’s office for an appointment, and then returned the cane to get his money back after the appointment!

Waiting many months for a disability appeal hearing is an unfortunate parameter within which we have to live. Use the time wisely to make your appeal stronger by following doctor’s orders, helping your attorney gather information necessary for your hearing and not doing anything stupid!



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Recognized as one of the nation’s premier law firms, The Cochran Firm handles cases on behalf of clients seeking a Personal Injury Lawyer, Criminal Defense, Medical Malpractice, Bankruptcy Attorney in Atlanta or Social Security Disability Lawyer.The Firm can be reached at 1-800-THE-FIRM (1-800-843-3476) or fill out the form on this page. “Working for You.”

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