It has been our experience that most Judges will offer the claimant’s attorney an opportunity to make an opening statement at the start of a Social Security hearing. However, unless the issues being decided are difficult or unusual, making an opening statement serves no purpose.
It is always better to allow the Judge to control the course of the hearing as much as possible. Many Judges focus on securing the essential testimony and information in an effective and efficient fashion.
Our experience has been making an opening statement when one is not needed serves only to delay the process that sometime frustrates the Law Judge.
When an opening statement is appropriate, our advice would be to keep as brief and simple as possible.
If you have a Social Security Disability hearing scheduled and would like to discuss possible representation by our firm, please feel free to contact our office.