Don't let anyone else tell you different.
The judge presiding over your Social Security disability hearing had already made up her mind before you ever got there.
95% off all disability hearings can pretty much be determined before the hearing ever begins. And why is this? Because, your medical records are the single most important piece of evidence in your case. Also, your age and past work is already known before your hearing as well. Depending upon your age and past work experience, coupled with how well your medical records are, this will determine whether your are approved or denied disability benefits. The only other real factor in the case is the judge's disposition after reading the medical evidence. This is why you have some judges with as little as less than 10% approval rate and some with as high as 40% approval rate.
So, what does this tell us?
First, it lets us know that you gotta show up for your hearing. It never fails to shock me to go to a hearing and have a judge approve a case that I thought would surely be denied. It also never fails to shock me to watch a judge derail a completely credible disability claim just because he or she is prone to denying cases. So again, you have to show up to your hearing because you just never know the outcome. I've also seen some of the weakest disability cases get approved and I've also seen some really strong disability cases get denied. So, you just don't know until you find out.
Second, it also tells us that the Social Security disability system is really flawed. As much as SSA would have you believe the judges follow the letter of the law, that's ridiculous. You have judges with as little as a 9% approval rate and some above 40%. They're all seeing the same kinds of cases over and over again. You could have the same case and two different judges come to two completely different conclusions. That is why, again, you absolutely have to go to your hearing. You may just draw one of the good judges that will approve you for benefits.
Third, it also tells us that you have an opportunity to better your chances of winning by continuing to go to the doctor and get treatment and have a doctor document your impairments. The more you go, the better your chances are.
But, it also tells us one more thing: There are 5% of disability cases where a claimant's testimony can completely change the judge's mind and approve the case. I've seen it before, but it's rare. There are times when a claimant will answer the judge's questions and change a disapproval to an approval. So again, that's also why you have to show up for your hearing.
We help claimants throughout Texas and the United States fighting for their Social Security disability benefits. Please feel free to contact us at: (888) 780-9125.