Once you file a Request for Hearing, it takes a long time before you actually appear in front of a judge. For hearings held in Portland, OR the wait is approximately 327 days; Eugene, OR--432 days; Seattle, WA--445 days; and Spokane, WA--328 days.
The Portland hearings office hears cases for people residing in Clark County and Cowlitz County.
Other than you and your representative, the following people will be at the hearing: (1) an administrative law judge; (2) a hearings reporter; (3) a vocational expert; and, (4) in some cases a medical expert. We may also call a witness to testify at your hearing.
The Social Security Disability hearing is usually the most stressful part of the process for people.
One of the many goals at Evans & Evans is to fully propare you for your hearing. We will meet with you and gover over how the hearing is run; go over sample questions; conduct mock hearings; figure out what medical records Social Security is missing and make sure to get copies of all pertinent medical records for the Judge to review prior to your hearing; discuss the strengths and weaknesses of your case; and, prepare any witnesses who may testify on your behalf.
At the heairng, your attorney will be responsible for asking you questions to clarify your answers to the judge, or to add additional information the judge did not ask about. In addition, your attorney will cross-examine the vocational expert, who is there to give their expert opinion on whether you could sustatain employment at various jobs. If there is a medical or psychological expert, the expert will give his/her opinion on the medical/psychological issues of the case, including whether your condition meets or equals a listing. Your attorney will also be responsible for cross-examining any medical expert.
The hearings typically last one hour, and you receive a written decision, on average, within 60 to 90 days.
If you are not successful at the hearing level, the next step is to appeal to the Appeals Council, and eventually to the U.S. District Court if you are unsuccessful at the Appeals Council.
Evans & Evans, PC
610 SW Broadway
Portland, OR 97205