Tuesday, October 26, 2010

Drafting Pre-Hearing Briefs - Advice for Claimants

If I could offer Claimants once piece of advice as they advance to the hearing stage, it would be to understand their case as thoroughly as possible as it fits into the Social Security Five-Step construct. Effective arguments extend well beyond simply having a command of a medical situation, and includes understanding the provable impact of age, education, resources, work history, and residual functional capacity on a case before Social Security. One of the best exercises that one can undertake in pursuit of such an understanding is building a Pre-Hearing Memorandum. This document is prepared by the Claimant (or their Counsel) and really sets the table for the issues to be discussed at hearing. This is a great opportunity to get to the Judge early and not only present strengths, but address potential weaknesses with one's case. Preparing such a document not only forces one to gain familiarity with the medical and procedural records, but it forces a level of organization that will telegraph well to the hearing room, when the Judge will walk down a similar path of analysis when evaluating the case.

For Claimants who are seeking specific advice on drafting their brief, I am linking to a fantastic article on this subject by Disability Attorney Gordon Gates, who practices in Maine and New Hampshire. The article is titled "Ten Tips for Writing Effective Hearing Briefs", and it really distills what is important when drafting a Pre-Hearing Brief.

For questions about your Georgia Disability Case, contact Thomas O'Brien at Feiler & Associates.

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