Hill & Ponton, P.A.

Video Blog – SS Hearing Level – Forms

Natalia Jofre: Hello and welcome to Hill and Ponton’s Social Security disability blog. I’m Natalia Jofre, the Social Security section director for our firm.
Shelly Mark: And I’m Shelly Mark, I am the senior Social Security attorney.
Natalia Jofre: In our last couple of blogs we’ve been talking about the hearing level, which is the third level through the Social Security claims process and where basically you’re waiting for a hearing date to go before a judge in order to..
Shelly Mark: And waiting.
Natalia Jofre: And waiting and waiting some more, because on average it’s 24 months. Some jurisdictions are 18 months, but even … it’s not the same for everyone. We have clients that are in at the same hearing office and some wait 12 months and some wait 30 months. So it’s an average of 24. Nationwide it does vary from hearing office to hearing office. Just so you know, it’s not the same across the board. Some states have less of a waiting period. At the hearing level, when you’re waiting for your hearing date to be scheduled, Social Security or the hearing office is going to send you some forms to fill out. These are extremely important, right? Because they’re the snapshot, they’re the update that the judge is going to get of you and your case and whatever your current situation is, especially with your medical treatment right now.
Shelly Mark: Right.
Natalia Jofre: The first forms they send you is the medical treatment forms where you basically need to write down …
Shelly Mark: Your doctors that you’re seeing at the time so that the judge will know which providers you’re currently seeing. I think it’s also a way for the judges to know who they need to be seeing updates from. You don’t really want to put on there doctors that you’ve seen in the past but that you’re not seeing anymore, because they’re going to be wondering when it gets to the hearing, “Okay, why didn’t I get any updates from these doctors?” That’s a current medical provider list, so you want to make sure it’s just the doctors that you’re currently going to.
Natalia Jofre: Big deal, because if they do see this whole … it’s not the time for you to give all of this historical data. One, it complicates or convolutes everything that you’re submitting and secondly it’s probably a waste of your time.
Shelly Mark: True.
Natalia Jofre: Another form is your medications form. This also speaks to what current medications you’re taking, what are their dosages, who prescribed it, and that’s another tip-off for the judge right, to know who’s currently treating you.
Shelly Mark: Exactly. They do usually want to know if you’re taking these medications, which doctors are you seeing that are actually prescribing them. It is important to make sure that if you can, make sure that your dosages are as accurate as you can. If you’re using an attorney, they should be able to help you with that medication list. If not, you may want to maybe request a copy of your doctor’s progress notes from an appointment that you’ve been to, because it’ll list off the medications with the dosages and you can just transfer that onto the form.
Natalia Jofre: We often times see that a medication may not necessarily be a disabling or contributory factor, but side effects are. We’ve had a lot of clients that because of the combination of side effects that have from medication that they have to take, sometimes their side effects are as disabling as the condition itself. If you have … vertigo’s a big one. The significant dizziness or significant nausea. If it makes you vomit, like with chemotherapy and things like that you see it, but it doesn’t even have to be that extreme of a form of treatment. Right?
Shelly Mark: No no.
Natalia Jofre: We have some clients that take just normal maintenance medication that makes them very, very sick, so all of that gets considered.
Shelly Mark: Definitely.
Natalia Jofre: And then another form would be the work history. That’s a biggie.
Shelly Mark: It’s a biggie and it ties into us in our previous blogs where we’ve gone over the work history form a bit and talked about how important it was that at the initial level and at any point talking about the work history that everything stays consistent. It’s really important when you’re completing the work history form to make sure that you’re accurately representing … that you’re telling Social Security the right job that you did for the … it’s not as necessarily important what company it is, but what your position was and how long you worked there and then you want to … any physical demands. Were you standing, were you walking, were you lifting anything heavy? What were the requirements of the actual job that you were performing?
Natalia Jofre: Super, super important and the judge will go through your work history with a fine-tooth comb because you’re basically claiming you’re unable to do any of the type of work you did in the past. That’s a key to proving your claim.
Next blog, we’ll talk some more about what happens at the actual hearing. Please join us then. For now if you have any questions, feel free to visit our website or call our office, and thank you for being with us.
Shelly Mark: Thank you.