A social security disability hearing can be nerve-wracking, especially if you do not know what to expect. At this point you have already likely dealt with a claim and a denial, and now you need to work hard to prove your case.
First of all, a social security disability lawyer is a great person to have on your side if this is your situation! Unlike you, your disability attorney has been in social security disability hearings many times and knows what to expect. If you work with a social security disability lawyer he or she can tell you what to expect at your particular hearing.
At the social security disability hearing, the questions asked will be different than what you were already asked in your application. The judge already has a lot of the information, but will be requesting additional details to help make a decision.
You can expect to hear questions about your personal background, including your work history. He or she may ask you about your daily living activities, which may feel like a repeat of information you have previously given, as this is factored into your application the first time around. However, the judge may want to hear, in your own words, how your disability affects your life. Be as detailed as possible, so the court fully understands how challenging your disability is to your personal life and well-being. Talk to your disability attorney about how to answer this question, prior to the hearing, to ensure you touch on all of the relevant points.
You may need to explain gaps in your medical treatment, if they exist. The judge wants to know why you were not seeking treatment at that time. Do not be embarrassed about your answers, or reluctant to tell the truth – all of this data is very important for the judge to make his or her decision.
Some sample questions you may hear include:
- Has your disability caused you to miss work, do a poor job, or change your work hours?
- What treatments have you undergone, and how have they affected your condition?
- How often do you see your doctor?
The judge is also looking for inconsistencies between your testimony and your records. These inconsistencies can be used as a basis to deny your claim.
Your disability attorney can help you feel prepared, but should not give you the exact answers – talk to the judge in your own words. The experienced Social Security Disability lawyers at Schiffman Law Office, P.C. can help you through the process.