A Florida Social Security disability hearing is supposed to be less formal than a courtroom trial, though it shares some similarities, and the Social Security Administration will make an effort to make you comfortable. One way in which the low-key nature of a disability hearing versus a court trial is evident is the number of people at the hearing.
There will be a minimum of three people, seated at a conference table. You will be present, of course, along with the administrative law judge. The judge will also have an assistant, who may sit at the conference table or at a smaller table nearby. The assistant’s job is to make a recording of the hearing, which will be copied to CD-ROM.
If you have an Ocala disability attorney, he or she will attend the hearing, and the administrative law judge or your attorney may wish to call medical or vocational witnesses to testify. These witnesses will also be seated at the conference table.
Any additional people allowed into the hearing will need your permission. You are allowed to have observers, but they cannot interfere with anyone’s testimony. You may not ask observers, witnesses, or your disability attorney to help you answer questions—you must do that on your own.
An experienced Ocala disability lawyer can, however, help your testimony by preparing you ahead of time. A good attorney will not coach you about what exactly to say, but will give you some idea of what types of answers the judge is looking for and let you know what to expect during the hearing.
For a free evaluation of your disability claim, contact Ocala disability lawyer CJ Henry by filling out the form on this website.