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So, let’s say you applied for disability benefits and your initial application was denied. Then you appealed through the ‘reconsideration’ process and your application was denied a second time. You are still able to have your case heard by an Administrative Law Judge. This is called a second level appeal. You should prepare for this like you would any important date in your life.
Most people are intimidated at the thought of speaking before a judge. Accept this and perhaps practice speaking to yourself in a mirror prior to the hearing so you can see what you look like when you are responding. Practice asking yourself questions and crafting a response. That way you will not be speaking ‘off the cuff’ where there is a greater chance you will make a mistake or ramble on. Remember the judge is really there to continue the SSA’s attempt to deny your benefits so you must have a proper defense prepared. Consider the hearing an opportunity to explain your disability in detail and in person. You have the ear of an authoritative figure that has the opportunity to decide in your favor and overturn the previous decision to deny you benefits. It might help you to know that more people are granted their benefits by a social security disability judge than in the initial application.
For more information visit the Social Security Administration website for Bangor, Maine.