What is the medical expert’s role during an appeal hearing?

On Behalf of | Apr 25, 2024 | Appeals

Receiving an unfavorable decision from the Social Security Administration (SSA) after filing a disability claim can be discouraging. Still, it is not the end of the process if filing an appeal to change this outcome is possible. Taking this path can allow you to revisit the details of your case before an administrative law judge (ALJ) with testimonies from professionals, such as a Medical Expert (ME).

What is their role?

Depending on the case details, diverse types of MEs can participate and be present during an appeal hearing. During this session, an ME’s role usually involves the following responsibilities:

  • Provide unbiased and professional opinions about the case
  • Review any evidence or records before and during the hearing
  • Provide written answers if given questions sent in writing
  • Establish credibility by stating medical qualifications before sharing insight into the case
  • Give other information to supplement details discussed during the hearing

An ME could significantly contribute to the hearing’s progress, considering that the ALJ may rely on their opinions before finalizing a decision. Additionally, the ME can answer questions asked by the claimant and their representative, which can help verify whether the facts they shared are accurate.

Fully understanding the appeals process

There is no way to guarantee a favorable outcome after filing an appeal for the denied claim. Still, claimants can prepare and plan adequately to help paint a better picture, clarifying any details and misunderstandings. Also, seeking legal guidance can be beneficial even before deciding to appeal the SSA’s initial decision. By doing so, a claimant can fully understand the process, helping them determine what preparations are necessary or address issues that may arise along the way.