If your North Carolina Social Security Disability claim was denied, your next step is a reconsideration. If that was denied, then you need to prepare for a hearing. For those who applied for Social Security Disability in Moore County for the first time, the closest Social Security offices to Southern Pines are in Sanford. (See SSA to determine locations near your home.)
Understand hearings are not only a critical part of whether you will receive benefits, they are serious proceedings. Our lawyers review what you can expect at your Social Security Disability hearing to ensure you are prepared, comfortable, and that your hearing goes smoothly:
- Sixty minutes or less. Most Social Security Disability hearings are about an hour long. Rarely will a hearing last longer than an hour
- Hearings are recorded. Be prepared to speak clearly or have a representative, like a Social Security Lawyer, speak on your behalf. If your disability does not impair your ability to speak, you will be required to testify under oath and respond to questions asked.
- Who will be there? Expect an Administrative Law Judge, the judge’s assistant, your North Carolina Social Security Lawyer, and any witnesses testifying on your case to be present. A vocational expert is present at a majority of hearings. Sometimes the Administrative Law Judge calls upon a medical expert. It is customary to respectfully stand up when the Administrative Law Judge enters the room.
- Attire. Even though this is an important step toward getting approved for disability, it is an informal hearing that does not require formal attire.
- Order of events. Judges usually start by announcing the claimant’s case history and items that must be decided during the hearing. Sometimes the judge will question the claimant first. Then your lawyer may ask you or a witness any questions. (Our Social Security lawyer spends time before your hearing reviewing all possible questions so that you are adequately prepared.) Sometimes a judge will allow a claimant or their attorney to make a closing statement. This is not mandatory. The judge is not required to announce his or her decision at the end of the hearing, but in some instances they do. Otherwise, a formal notice is mailed to the claimant within 60-90 days of the hearing, sometimes longer. If your claim is denied again, learn more about what to do if your Social Security Disability claim is denied.
Individuals who are no longer able to work as a result of a mental or physical disability may be eligible for Social Security Disability benefits. Moore County’s proximity to Fort Bragg affords a high concentration of military and retired military personnel. (Ask our Social Security Lawyer about Veterans Disability claims.) If you need help with your disability claim in the Pinehurst area, review your claim with our Social Security Disability attorneys. Our lawyers can assist you with hearings in this area and across the state.