The Importance of a Pre-Hearing Brief

The Importance of a Pre-Hearing Brief

The Law Office of Brad Thomas routinely submits pre-hearing briefs to Administrative Law Judges prior to the case.

What is a “brief?”

Legal Brief AttorneyA brief is simply a short legal paper provided to the judge that explains why you are disabled. A brief is usually 2-4 pages and submitted to the judge prior to your hearing. The brief provides the judge with a recitation of the medical records that support your claim as well as the legal theory as to why you are disabled.

 

 

Why do you submit a legal brief to the judge?

There are many reasons to submit a pre-hearing brief to a judge. Social Security Disability has several regulations and the theory of why you are disabled can change depending on the type of medical conditions you suffer from, your age, and the nature of your medical condition. Perhaps your medical condition meets a “Medical Listing” qualifying you for automatic disability. If you are over 50, you may qualify for disability under the Medical Vocational Guidelines, or the “grid rules.” If you are under 50, the brief sets out the specific legal theory as to why you cannot work. The Law Office of Brad Thomas reviews your file and explains to the judge the basis of the claim for disability.

It is helpful for the judge to be provided an explanation, based on law and fact, as to why you are disabled. This lets the judge know that your attorney has reviewed the file and is well-versed in the law. The judge will certainly read the explanation as to why your case was denied. The brief is the counterpoint explaining why you disagree with that denial.

Sometimes, though rare, a judge will read the brief and grant the case prior to the hearing. Our office has submitted briefs and received notice prior to the hearing that the case was granted based upon the brief. We have also had situations whether a judge will review the brief shortly before the hearing and be persuaded. This is the best case scenario as it saves you the stress of a hearing and you know that you will be receiving a favorable decision. Sometimes a judge will read the brief and want to have a discussion as to your “alleged onset date,” or the date you became disabled. This can also resolve the case in many instances.

Legal briefs can also be used to address other issues in your case. For example, if are working, the brief can explain to the judge why your work activity is not disqualifying. There could be other complicated issues, such as whether you were disabled prior to your Social Security Disability Insurance Benefits, or date last insured, expires. Each case is different.

The Law Office of Brad Thomas routinely submits pre-hearing legal briefs for our clients. Please call us today!