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At the close of a hearing, sometimes post-hearing argument is needed. Social Security’s rules allow for oral and/or written post-hearing argument, upon request. See HALLEX section I-2-6-76.

I prefer to submit a post-hearing brief, rather than make a statement at the close of the hearing. I think a brief has far more impact.

Post hearing argument is necessary when an important issue has been left unresolved. Sometimes it is the testimony of the vocational witness at the hearing. Response to this evidence is specifically permitted under Social Security Ruling 96-9p, footnote 8. Similarly, the hearing testimony of a medical expert may require a post-hearing response.

Sometimes the judge raises a quirky issue at the hearing. This happened to me recently when the judge wanted to reconcile the claimant’s many absences from work (we submitted attendence records from the last employer) and the lack of cancellations of scheduled medical appointments. He asked the claimant “If you were missing all this work due to your symptoms, why did you only cancel one medical appointment, of many?” The claimant gave a good answer, but I thought the issue deserved a further response. I let the judge know at the hearing that I would file a post hearing brief.

We do so much to prepare for hearings. But follow up after the hearing is sometimes necessary, and can strengthen your case.