Because a Social Security disability hearing is an informal process, it will not be held in a courtroom. Instead, it will take place in a small conference room that may have a few official markers displayed, like an American flag or a seal of the Social Security Administration.
Two things are always present at the hearing room: a conference table and recording equipment.
The conference table is a place for you, your First Coast disability attorney, and any witnesses to sit. The judge will usually have a separate desk on a riser so that it is slightly taller than the conference table. There could also be a small table for the judge’s assistant; if not, he or she will sit at the conference table.
Your Social Security disability hearing will be recorded. Because of this, make sure to speak clearly and avoid making sounds instead of using distinctive words; for example, do not use “uh huh” for “no” and “huh uh” for “yes,” as they are not readily picked up or recorded clearly by the microphones. In addition, do not gesture, point, nod, or shake your head without verbally stating what you are doing, what you mean, and why you are doing what you are doing.
If someone is appearing at your hearing via videoconference, then there will be cameras as well as audio recording devices.
Many Social Security disability claimants are denied benefits at the application stage despite having a disability that keeps them from working. However, those claimants who appeal their denial through the hearing stage are awarded benefits more often than not. Government statistics show that claimants who have legal representation at their hearings are more likely to receive benefits than those who do not. For a free evaluation of your claim, please contact First Coast disability attorney John Fagan by filling out the form on this website or calling the number listed above.