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Old 09-27-2011, 06:13 AM   #1
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What NOT to do at a SSDI hearing - does anymore know?

I have my SSDI hearing coming up mid October and I would like to know from experience what NOT to do, wear, say at a SSDI hearing. Any comments, suggestions or personal experiences would be so helpful. The attorney that I hired is just so so in my opinion. I have a prep meeting with him the day before my hearing and this will be the first time I have met him and the 2nd time I spoke with him. I have been dealing with the paralegal. He is an attorney who does not solely practice SSI and SSDI so I am a little worried. If I had to do all over again, I would have been alot more picky. Thanks for your thoughts and comments.

 
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Old 09-27-2011, 07:32 AM   #2
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Re: What NOT to do at a SSDI hearing - does anymore know?

As far as attire, they say you should not dress up or down. Just casual with clean clothes and a clean appearance. I received an OTR decision so I did not have to go to ALJ court. All you can do I think is answer any questions the judge asks you honestly without any exaggeration. Also, your attorney or advocate should be prepared to field questions on your behalf. I have heard of some attorneys just sitting there and not saying a word on behalf of their clients. I wonder if some of these guys and gals are ill prepared by not taking the time to review your case file. I think many are overloaded with cases and just show up in court knowing you having a better chance at winning at the ALJ level and they just hope for the best. These guys have so many clients that your denial might not hurt them because they will win the next 10 cases. This is why I went with and liked Allsup. They do all their homework and prepare you properly should you have to appear before an ALJ. The lawyers who will take anyone (Allsup picks and chooses who they will take) IMO are not the best ones to use because they are merely using the law of large numbers. While this might be good for his pocketbook, it is certainly not in the client's best interest IMO.

 
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Old 09-27-2011, 08:54 AM   #3
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Re: What NOT to do at a SSDI hearing - does anymore know?

I wore shorts and a tshirt to my hearing. It was summer. Don't wear sweatpants and if you are a woman wear a bra. Just some observations from sitting in the waiting room. You may not think the lawyer is the best but having one definately helps. I was in the hearing for about 45 minutes. DH said he watched about 10 people go in and come out of a room during my time in my hearing. None of them had lawyers. Look neat and presentable but don't go out of your way.

 
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Old 09-27-2011, 10:49 AM   #4
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Re: What NOT to do at a SSDI hearing - does anymore know?

I agree with the attire - plain and simple is best. I wore plain black pull-on pants and a simple pink shirt (my attorney carried in my purse for me). I did not wear any make up or do anything special with my hair. (I have very long hair, so I could get away with just washing it, and letting it hang straight).

Just be honest and polite with the judge. Mine lasted 35 minutes, but I have heard of hearings lasting from 10 minutes to an hour or more.

Good luck! We are all cheering you on!

 
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Old 09-28-2011, 06:41 PM   #5
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Re: What NOT to do at a SSDI hearing - does anymore know?

Quote:
Originally Posted by BlueSkies14 View Post
As far as attire, they say you should not dress up or down. Just casual with clean clothes and a clean appearance. I received an OTR decision so I did not have to go to ALJ court. All you can do I think is answer any questions the judge asks you honestly without any exaggeration. Also, your attorney or advocate should be prepared to field questions on your behalf. I have heard of some attorneys just sitting there and not saying a word on behalf of their clients. I wonder if some of these guys and gals are ill prepared by not taking the time to review your case file. I think many are overloaded with cases and just show up in court knowing you having a better chance at winning at the ALJ level and they just hope for the best. These guys have so many clients that your denial might not hurt them because they will win the next 10 cases. This is why I went with and liked Allsup. They do all their homework and prepare you properly should you have to appear before an ALJ. The lawyers who will take anyone (Allsup picks and chooses who they will take) IMO are not the best ones to use because they are merely using the law of large numbers. While this might be good for his pocketbook, it is certainly not in the client's best interest IMO.
Thanks so much for your good advice. There has been some new developments in my case which look pretty good. We got a call from the Judge's clerk saying that the Judge was going to make an OTR decision but since there was Congressional Interest they have to go forward with the hearing. My attorney thinks the hearing is a formality and a decision has already been made - I will believe it when I see it. Although, when the clerk called my attorney, she said "good news" first and then said about we had to still go to the hearing. We shall see on Oct. 13th. Thanks again and I will take your advice.

 
Old 09-28-2011, 06:44 PM   #6
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Re: What NOT to do at a SSDI hearing - does anymore know?

Quote:
Originally Posted by dismama View Post
I wore shorts and a tshirt to my hearing. It was summer. Don't wear sweatpants and if you are a woman wear a bra. Just some observations from sitting in the waiting room. You may not think the lawyer is the best but having one definately helps. I was in the hearing for about 45 minutes. DH said he watched about 10 people go in and come out of a room during my time in my hearing. None of them had lawyers. Look neat and presentable but don't go out of your way.
Shorts to a hearing?? hahaha.. You are brave! Thanks for the advice, I think it will just be casual.. I can't button shirts too well because of the arthritis so a sweater and comfortable pull on pants. Thanks again, I appreciate your response!

 
Old 09-28-2011, 06:47 PM   #7
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Re: What NOT to do at a SSDI hearing - does anymore know?

Quote:
Originally Posted by gayle4102 View Post
I agree with the attire - plain and simple is best. I wore plain black pull-on pants and a simple pink shirt (my attorney carried in my purse for me). I did not wear any make up or do anything special with my hair. (I have very long hair, so I could get away with just washing it, and letting it hang straight).

Just be honest and polite with the judge. Mine lasted 35 minutes, but I have heard of hearings lasting from 10 minutes to an hour or more.

Good luck! We are all cheering you on!
I agree Gayle - plain and simple but neat and clean. No make up - yikes... lol, just kidding. I haven't put make up on in a while - used to wear it everyday. Thanks for your advice, it was really appreciated and I will keep you updated. There have been some new developments in my case which seem promising!

 
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