I have a disability hearing on the 27th of this month I've been seeing a psychiatrist for two visits now and on the second visit he said that I am a malingerer. However my diagnosis from him is severe depression and avoidance disorder. I can't avoid this hearing on the 27th cuz this is my appeal and I've been waiting two years for this appeals hearing I don't have a lawyer how should I address this malingering accusation and is this going to hurt my disability case.
I know you don't want to hear this but what you need is an attorney. We are trained to present arguments and evidence to the court that effectively advocates for the client, including vigorous cross-examination of expert witnesses, such as a psychiatrist, that may undermine the expert's opinion in the eyes of the court.
I strongly encourage you to re-consider representing yourself. You are not helping yourself by trying to practice law.
This comment is designed for general information only, and should not be construed to be formal legal advice nor the formation of a lawyer/client relationship.
Agree entirely you don’t want to hear it was spend the money that’s what you need
Yes, I agree with counsel that you would be better off with an attorney. Additionally, you should be aware that if you decide to go ahead with your hearing anyway and the judge issues an unfavorable decision based on that doctor's opinion, if you reapply for benefits in the future, it will be more difficult for you to be approved because Social Security will presume you are not disabled.
What you may want to do is to request a continuance of your hearing to give you time to find an attorney. If it is your first request for a continuance, the judge will likely continue your hearing to allow you to find a local attorney to represent you. The hearings office may require you to show up to your hearing as scheduled and then you can ask the judge for time to find a lawyer.
The National Organization of Social Security Claimants Representatives (NOSSCR) may be able to help you find a Social Security lawyer in your area: they provide a lawyer referral service. You can contact NOSSCR at www.nosscr.org.
It is not too late to seek counsel, as you have the right to counsel and even if you went to the hearing without anyone, the judge is required to let you at least once seek counsel if you wish to do so. I agree with the other answers that you will likely need it. The worst that could happen is that your hearing date conflicts with an attorney's schedule -- or they find that your file needs additional medical evidence and documentation -- and they will have to get the case adjourned (postponed) to a later date. However, waiting a few more months for a hearing is nothing compared to waiting another year and a half on appeal if your case is denied. As another commented also indicated, if you are denied and choose to reapply rather than appeal, it is infinitely more difficult to get approved if your medical condition remains the same, if you've already received a judge's unfavorable decision.
No Social Security will charge you up front for representing you. We work on a contingency fee basis, so there will only be a fee if you get approved, and it's a maximum of 25% past-due benefits, capped at $6,000 if you win in front of the judge. It's worth the cost, though, especially given the information you've presented. You would benefit from having an advocate on your side.
All answers are for general information purposes only and do not constitute an attorney-client relationship. All answers are based on the limited facts provided and the answer may change with additional information. If you are currently represented by an attorney, it is always recommended that you follow the advice of your attorney or discuss any actions you wish to take with your attorney before anything else. No answer is a substitute for advice from an attorney, and it is always recommended that you contact an attorney to assist in any legal issues.
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