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Ledgerwood Law Group

Tehama Disability Attorney Explains Your SSDI Claim Exhibit File

Whether you know about it or not, the exhibit file will play a crucial role in the outcome of your Social Security disability benefits claim appeal. The file collects every piece of evidence associated with your claim, to date, and carefully organizes it for quick reference in California disability court.

The exhibit file will offer the Administrative Law Judge a detailed overview of your case, offering him or her important guidance both during the hearing and over the course of their determination process.

What does my exhibit file contain?

The exhibit file contains all of the reports, letters and other paperwork related to your claim, including:

  • Your initial application
  • The disability determination from DDS, explaining why your original claim was denied
  • Any forms you or your legal representation have filled out for the SSA
  • Medical records
  • Medical source statements or RFC forms from your physician
  • All communications from the SSA
  • Your Social Security Earnings Record
  • Letters sent from you or anyone making statements about your disabilities

If you are appealing the decision of a previous ALJ, the exhibit file will also contain:

  • A transcript of the earlier hearing
  • The ALJ’s Notice of Decision

If you are appealing to U.S. District Court, your exhibit file will also contain:

  • The appeals council’s review of your file
  • Action of Appeals Council on Request for Review
  • The Summons and Complaint filed at District Court for your claim

Your relationship to the exhibit file

When you file to appeal a denied claim, the Office of Disability Adjudication and Review (ODAR) collects your file and indexes each individual document, creating an exhibit list for use at your hearing. This is a painstaking and time consuming process, one that will add weeks into the time it will take for your hearing to be scheduled.

Once the exhibit list is complete, a copy will be mailed to you and your representative. Usually, your claim appeal hearing will be scheduled at about this time.

If you are working with a skilled Tehama disability lawyer, he will contact you upon receiving the exhibit list. He can summarize any omissions or problems that have been discovered in the course of the review.

Even when you are working with an attorney, it’s in your best interests to be familiar with the contents of your exhibit file. If you have any questions, or discover that any of the information in your exhibit file is incorrect, your attorney will be able to address the situation immediately.

You don’t have to face the Social Security claims appeal process alone. To learn more about how the Ledgerwood Law Group can help, call 888-761-7383 or fill out the online contact form.


Thomas Ledgerwood
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Proprietor Ledgerwood Law Group