Preparing for a Social Security Disability Hearing

Arrive Early

Unless your attorney asks you to be at the hearing office at a specific time, arrive for your Social Security disability hearing about a half an hour early. Any earlier is not necessary no matter what your Notice of Hearing may say about coming early to review your file. Your lawyer has already reviewed your hearing exhibit file. It isn’t necessary for you to review it (although you may if you want to). Social Security disability hearings usually start on time, so whatever you do, don’t be late.

What to Wear

A lot of people ask what to wear, whether they should dress up for their Social Security disability hearing.

You do not need to dress up, and you do not need to wear the same clothes that you would wear to a wedding. This is an informal hearing. You may wear whatever makes you comfortable (within reason).

Don’t Talk About Your Case

Social Security disability hearings are serious business. Don’t make jokes. Don’t even talk about your case before or after your hearing in the waiting room, in the hallway, in the elevator or anywhere else where a stranger can overhear. A Social Security employee may misinterpret what you say and get the wrong impression about you, and there may be a lot of Social Security employees in the building.

Turn Off Your Cell Phone

If you have a cell phone with you, don’t forget to turn it off before the hearing starts.