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Pointers for a Smoother California SSDI Claim Appeal Hearing

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It’s easy to feel overwhelmed by what you can’t control in the California SSDI or SSI claims process. You won’t be able to select the Administrative Law Judge (ALJ) presiding over your case, nor will you even know what kind of day he or she is having. However, there are some basic things you can do to help the overall impression you make in court.

  • Be respectful and honest. Don’t make jokes, and don’t downplay or exaggerate your health situation.
  • Know where the office is and show up at least 20 minutes early.
  • Go about your normal routine: take your medications and use whatever medical devices you typically need to get around.
  • Never discuss any aspect of your case or the hearing while you are still in the earshot of Social Security employees—that includes the parking lot. You may be overheard and misunderstood.
  • Avoid wearing heavy makeup or prominent jewelry. Consider forgoing nail polish, perfume, or heavy aftershave.
  • Don’t overdress. The atmosphere of ODAR facilities is somewhat casual, so dressing as you would for a doctor’s appointment—in a way that is comfortable, but not sloppy—is preferred. Don’t wear anything with prominent logos, slogans or advertising.
  • Turn off your cell phone before entering court.
  • Work with an experienced Tehama disability lawyer. ALJs often have their own set of preferences and quirks. Very frequently, an attorney with experience in the system will have worked with a judge prior to your hearing and they’ll be able to better prepare you in advance.


Confused about the Social Security claims process? Don’t wait another day. Call the dedicated and experienced Ledgerwood Law Group today at 888-761-7383.

Category: Social Security Disability

Thomas Ledgerwood
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Proprietor Ledgerwood Law Group

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