The Social Security Hearing Room

Because a Social Security disability hearing is an informal process, it will not be held in a courtroom. Instead, it will take place in a small conference room that may have a few official markers displayed, like an American flag or a seal of the Social Security Administration. Two things are always present at the hearing room: a conference table and recording equipment. The conference table is a place for you, your First Coast disability attorney, and any witnesses to sit. The judge will usually have a separate desk on a riser so that it is slightly taller than the conference table. There could also be a small table for the judge’s assistant; if not, he or she will sit at the conference table. Your Social Security disability hearing will be recorded. Because of this, make sure to speak clearly and avoid making sounds instead of using distinctive words; for example, do not use “uh huh” for “no” and “huh uh” for “yes,” as they are not readily picked up or recorded clearly by the microphones. In addition, do not gesture, point, nod, or shake your head without verbally stating what you are doing, what you mean, and why you are doing what you are doing. If someone is appearing at your hearing via videoconference, then there will be cameras as well as audio recording devices. Many Social Security disability claimants are denied benefits at the application stage despite having a disability that keeps them from working. However, those claimants who appeal their denial through the hearing stage are awarded benefits more often than not. Government statistics show that claimants who have legal representation at their hearings are more likely to receive benefits than those who do not. For a free evaluation of your claim, please contact First Coast disability attorney John Fagan by filling out the form on this website or calling the number listed above.

About John Fagan

John is a Jacksonville native who grew up on the First Coast. He graduated from Bishop Kenny High School in 1975 and went to college at Florida State University where he completed a 4-year program in 3 years. John graduated from the Florida State University College of Business in 1978 and went straight into Florida State University College of Law. While in law school, John earned a position on the prestigious Law Review Board serving as its Business Editor. As a law student, John studied in the Oxford program. He also interned with the Florida Legislature working in the Florida House of Representatives Criminal Justice Committee. John was admitted to the Florida Bar in 1981. John began his legal career as a law school intern in the State Attorney's Office in Jacksonville in 1981. After his internship, legendary State Attorney Ed Austin hired John as a full-time Assistant State Attorney for the Fourth Judicial Circuit (Clay, Duval, and Nassau Counties). As a prosecutor, John tried jury and non-jury trial on charges ranging from DUI to Murder. In 1983, John moved from the State Attorney's Office to begin his career in private practice. He has practiced law for 30 years on the First Coast. For the last 20 years, John and his family have made Clay County their home. John limits his practice to personal injury and disability cases. While there are many fine attorneys in Clay County, John is one of only a few Clay County attorneys who limit their practice to personal injury and disability cases. John takes pride in helping clients resolve injury claims in ways that avoid the stress, uncertainty, and the expense of unnecessary litigation. Professional Activities John is the past President of the Clay County Bar Association and has served on the Board of the Clay County Bar Association from 2009-2013. He is an active member of the Florida Bar, and the Federal Bar of the Middle and Southern Districts of Florida. He is also a member of the American Association of Justice, the Florida Association of Justice, the National Organization of Social Security Claimants' Representatives, and the National Organization of Veterans' Advocates. Service to the Community John is involved in the Clay County Community serving as a member and Director of the Rotary Club of Orange Park, of the Clay County Bar Association, and the Putnam County Bar Association.
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