There is no doubt about it that the Social Security Disability hearing process can be a stressful endeavor. When a person is under stress it is not uncommon to forget that there are things that you wanted to mention to the administrative law judge who was hearing your case. In such situations an applicant may wonder if there is anything they can do to update their hearing testimony – especially if the information left out may be very important to the outcome of the case. Fortunately, if you forgot to bring up information that the ALJ needs in order to approve your disability claim, there are ways in which you can update your hearing testimony.
First and foremost, you should be working with a lawyer at this stage of the disability appeal process. If you are working with a lawyer, all communication to the administrative law judge should be sent through your disability attorney. In such a case you would want to consult with your attorney, letting him or her know what was left out of your testimony, and ask the attorney to submit the information that was left out to the judge in writing.
If you are not working with a lawyer, you may or may not be able to get your testimony updated. Without a lawyer, you do run the risk of having the ODAR office return your updated hearing statement to you. It is important to remember that the judges who hear these cases are very busy people. Usually a case is “closed” after the hearing has been concluded. Unless the information that you wish to submit is very important and can make or break your disability case, sending in an updated statement regarding your hearing testimony may do you no good.
If the information that you have is very important and actually will have an impact on your case and you are not yet working with a disability attorney, now is the time to get one. The only way to ensure that your update information regarding your hearing testimony will be seen by the administrative law judge is to have that information sent through an attorney. If you are not working with an attorney, the chances of your information being received and considered are very slim.
Even with an attorney it may be too late to send the information to the administrative law judge. Fortunately, however, when you work with a Social Security Disability attorney that attorney can help you with the next step of the appeal process if your disability benefits are denied due to this lack of information. An attorney will know which steps are necessary in order to obtain benefits and will help you each step of the way.