Initial considerations regarding SSDI hearings
Unlike standard court proceedings, SSDI hearings are considerably more relaxed in that only you, your disability attorney, the judge, and a hearing reporter are usually the only people present and are typical seated around a conference table. However, in some instances, the presence of a Medical Expert or ME may be required in order to provide more evidence to support your case.
The ME is usually, but not always, a retired physician who provides assistance in your case by summarizing your medical records. Additionally, the ME will most likely be a person you do not know personally, and whose role is to provide sufficient evidence to the judge regarding your case during your hearing so that you are eventually awarded SSDI benefits. If your Disability case is truly legitimate, the ME could be instrumental in helping you with your claim by presenting facts about your medical condition.
Benefiting from the services of an ME
If you've been seeing a physician or specialist who has diagnosed you with a particular disability and has stated that you can no longer continue working because of your medical condition, you will want to apply for SSDI benefits in order to replace as much of your lost income as possible. Despite the difficulties that exist in the application process, remember that you are going to be embarking on a long, tedious journey which may include a number of appeals from one level of the process to the next.
If you have a disability and your medical records are difficult to understand and voluminous, you benefit when this individual testifies on your behalf and explains the details of your medical condition. The ME is skilled at zeroing in on key information contained in your medical records and can decipher that information for the judge so that they can see what is really going on with your condition.
The key benefit is the ME's testimony provides the judge at your hearing with a complete and totally detailed understanding of your medical condition. Additionally, before rendering their opinion and testimony, the ME must provide their credentials. Your attorney may ask the ME questions in order to verify this by inquiring about their education, experience, skills, training, and their experience in a specific medical field.
Jonathan Ginsberg has been practicing Social Security Disability law in the Atlanta, Georgia area for over 20 years. His website can be found at www.atlantasocialsecuritydisabilityattorney.net