A Social Security disability hearing is the opportunity to show the judge how your disability affects your daily life and why you are no longer able to work. When applying for disability benefits, you will likely be required to attend an interview with a Social Security representative. This is your opportunity to provide evidence of your disability and explain how it affects your ability to work.
What should I do at my disability hearing?
First things first: don’t feel overwhelmed by legal issues, judges, oaths and by the idea of a solemn courtroom. Your disability attorney will advise you, explain everything you need to know.
Be prepared to discuss your medical history. This includes discussing when and how your disability began, what treatments you have tried, and any information about your disability that your doctor may have provided. Some people feel embarrassed when talking about their disability: remember that there’s nothing to be ashamed of, the Social Security representatives and judges are familiar with your condition and probably they’ve seen hundreds of cases like yours.
Be honest and accurate. It is extremely important to be truthful and accurate about the following topics: your daily habits and your disability. If your statements don’t match your medical records, you will lose your credibility, then the judge’s trust and, consequently, you won’t get the benefits you are claiming for.
Be honest and accurate when describing your disability and its effects on your ability to work. The social security administration will verify the information you provide, so it is important to be truthful. If you are not sure about something, ask the social security representative for clarification.
Explain how your disability affects you day-to-day. Explain how your disability affects you day-to-day. This includes discussing signs your disability limits your ability to do everyday activities, such as bathing, dressing, or cooking.
Be tidy when collecting information. It is also important to have information about your work history ready, including dates of employment, job titles, and the amount of money you earned while working. Again, your disability attorney will advise you so there’s no need to be afraid of paper-work.
Get a Social Security Disability Attorney. If you have a hearing scheduled and you still don’t have an attorney, we honestly recommend you get one soon. There are a lot of rules and requirements to proving a disability case. If you are not experienced in this area you are at a significant disadvantage going into a hearing with a judge and sometimes a medical and/or vocational expert.
The judge is supposed to be there as a non-biased party to determine if you meet the rules and regulations of disability. You have to give them quality information so they can reach a fair decision for you. Their job is to protect society by reaching fair decisions and it doesn’t sound fair to give Social Security Disability insurance to a person who can work full-time perfectly fine. If you do not know anything about the disability program and you are not prepared for the hearing, you can bet the judge will form their own opinion and there will be no way for you to challenge them. Is their everyday job.
If you have a social security disability hearing scheduled, it is crucial that you have an attorney by your side. The disability claim process can be complicated and confusing, and without representation, you may not be able to effectively advocate for yourself. An experienced social security disability attorney will know the ins and outs of the process and will be able to help you build a strong case for benefits.
What should I say at my disability hearing?
Explain what prevents you from working. The better answer to the question, “Why can’t you work?” would be one that explains what physical and/or mental conditions are preventing you from completing job tasks.
Oftentimes individuals with physical or mental conditions push themselves to continue working, which leads them to being fired or let go because they are not capable of completing the required tasks.
At your hearing you must be honest about whether you were fired or let go from your last job. Why? Because that fact itself is supportive evidence for your inability to maintain employment on a regular and consistent basis. And that’s what you should focus on during your hearing: yes, you were let go from your job and even if you were given another position tomorrow you would not be able to complete the job due to x, y and z.
If you are not sure about something, don’t feel pressured to say something fast and accurate. Precisely, if you are not sure, you won’t be accurate at all, and that may lead you to lose your credibility. Remember that you can always be honest and express that you are nervous because you are in a courtroom.
What you should never say at your disability hearing:
Never say: “I can’t work because no one will hire me”
Frequently, individuals apply for SSD because they have lost their job. This program is not meant to be a substitute for unemployment benefits. The Social Security disability program is a disability insurance whose purpose is to assist individuals who are either physically or mentally unable to maintain full-time employment on a regular and consistent basis.
Social Security does not care what the job market is like and if it is difficult for you to find a job. That’s simply not their field. They just care if you can perform the required job functions or not, and that’s precisely what you need to show them.
Never say: “I don’t know why I’m here. I can work”
Claiming for disability insurance and being able to work full-time are contradictory facts, and if there is something unfriendly in court, that’s contradictions.
This is a very common thought among individuals consulting about SSD. The main reason, it was already said, is that people tend to push themselves to continue working, denying the reality that their physical or mental condition does not allow them to do it on a regular and consistent basis. This fact leads to a lower standard of living.
Similarly, a common reason why some people say they think they can work is that they feel embarrassed. Applying for disability benefits is nothing to be embarrassed about. It’s about to take care of your health. And remember that everything you say in the hearing is confidential.
Another reason many people at the hearing say they think they can work is that they feel intimidated by the process. They hear the evidence and draw their own conclusions. This can be dangerous because there are a lot of legal factors that people don’t know -that’s the lawyer’s work- that go into finding a disability.
Likewise, at the hearing people tend to say they can work because of the intimidation of the oath and the fear of committing perjury. At the start of the hearing, the judge will require you to swear an oath, to tell the truth. That can make you feel under pressure, and you may overthink and realize “that if you make an extra effort you could actually work…”.
Remember the tip we gave you above: don’t push yourself more that you should. Also, if you are not sure about something, you are not committing any perjury. You have the right to have doubts and there’s no need to be afraid, that’s not a crime. If you are honest with yourself, you can be honest with the judge while taking care of your health. But this is something we will talk about in a pre-hearing stage.
We know you may think you can work. For that reason, at a pre-hearing stage, we will ask you a few questions whose answers will reveal if you really are able to work full-time. You will have plenty of opportunities throughout the process to figure out and tell us, honestly, if you can work. Together we will discover why you are applying for the SSDI and whether you could work full-time if you were given a job with fewer requirements. If that’s the case, we simply withdraw their application. No harm, no foul.
The best thing to do is ask your attorney what to say and trust their judgment. A good Social Security attorney will tell you exactly what your chances are at meeting the disability requirements. The program is there to help you when you need to focus on your health.
Never say: “I don’t do chores because my significant other, friend or family member does them.”
You may be asked about why your significant other or family member completes daily household chores. You should never say “because that is their job” or “because that was the agreement when we moved in together”, or any other answer that is not related with your condition.
Remember: in the hearing it’s all about your condition. The judge doesn’t care what you think about how division of chores should be like, so don’t say it. The purpose behind this question is to find out whether you are capable of physically or mentally completing household chores, and that is what you must answer.
Never say: “I have never used drugs or alcohol in my life.”
If that statement is true, then of course it is fine to say. But if you have used it, and you are asked about it, don’t lie.
On one hand, the word “never” is hard to believe: is not a credible one. On the other hand, if you say you haven’t used drugs or alcohol in the past, but the opposite is mentioned in the medical history diagnostic reports, then you have just ruined your credibility with the judge. The best thing you can do in this situation is to tell the absolute truth. If a judge catches you in a lie, then you can bet your case will be denied.
Depending on the severity of your drug and alcohol use, your attorney may be able to neutralize the situation. This is something you should talk to the lawyers in a pre-hearing stage, so we can assess the situation and decide what’s the best way to handle it.
Never say: “I haven’t been going to the doctor because I don’t think their recommended treatment will work.”
You’ve done two things with that statement:
First off, you have admitted to the judge that you are not receiving medical treatment on a regular basis. The general assumption is if you are not treated by a doctor regularly you must not be that disabled.
The second thing you have done if you say this, is admitting that you are not following recommended treatment. A judge will take that statement and will argue that if you had followed the prescribed treatment then you would not be disabled.
Again, in a situation like this, you should talk it over with your attorney prior to the hearing to see how to handle your lack of medical treatment. There are better ways to approach the situation rather than saying you don’t agree with what the doctor is saying. That, in and of itself, is not a good reason to not follow prescribed treatment. It goes a lot further with a judge if you follow every recommendation from your doctor and then say that none of it worked.
4 signs that you have good chances to be approved for disability
- Your disability meets one of Social Security’s Listing of Impairments. If this is your case, you will likely be approved for a disability claim. Criteria for receiving social security benefits are very specific, and if your disability falls into one of the categories listed, you are likely to be approved. Some of the most common disabilities that qualify for social security benefits include mental disorders, musculoskeletal disorders, heart disease, and cancer.
- You have been unable to work due to your disability for at least the past year. If you have not been able to work for at least one year due to your disability, you are likely to be approved for social security disability benefits. To qualify for benefits, you must prove that your disability prevents you from working and earning income. If you can show that you have made a sincere effort to find work but have been unable to do so, your social security disability claim will likely be approved.
- If you are unable to perform any other substantial gainful activity because of your disability. If you are unable to work on a regular and consistent basis due to a disability, you may be able to qualify for social security disability benefits. To apply for benefits, you will need to provide evidence that your disability prevents you from working. This may include medical evidence, doctor’s notes, and information about your work history.You will also need to complete a disability application form, which can be found on the social security official website.The social security management evaluates all applications for disability benefits on a case-by-case basis. There is no one-size-fits-all answer when it comes to eligibility for benefits. However, if you can provide evidence that your disability prevents you from working, you have a good chance of being approved for benefits.
- You have a doctor who supports your disability claim. If you have a doctor who supports your disability claim for social security disability, you are likely to be approved. A letter from your doctor attesting to the severity of your disability and how it affects your ability to work makes a substantial difference. If your doctor can provide documentation that supports your claim, it means you have solid evidence and you are much more likely to be approved by the social security direction.
How long does it take for a decision to be made on disability?
The social security takes a case-by-case approach when reviewing applications for disability. There is no one-size-fits-all answer when it comes to eligibility for benefits. However, the social security administration aims to decide on all applications within three to four months. If your application is more complex, it may take longer to make a decision.
What percentage of disability is approved?
The social security administration takes a case-by-case approach when reviewing applications for disability benefits. There is no one-size-fits-all answer when it comes to eligibility for benefits. However, the social security administration aims to decide on all applications within three to four months. If your application is more complex, it may take longer to make a decision.
How hard is it to get a Social Security disability?
There is no one-size-fits-all answer when it comes to the social security disability claims process. The social security administration evaluates all applications for benefits on a case-by-case basis. However, if you can provide evidence that your disability prevents you from working, you have a good chance of being approved for benefits. Some of the most common conditions that qualify for social security benefits include mental disorders, musculoskeletal disorders, heart disease, and cancer.
What is supplemental security income?
Supplemental security income, or SSI, is a social security program that provides benefits to low-income individuals who are unable to work due to a disability. SSI benefits are based on financial need, and applicants must meet certain eligibility requirements to qualify.
What is social security disability insurance?
Social security disability insurance is a social security program that provides benefits to workers who become disabled and are unable to work. Benefits are based on the amount of money you have paid into the social security system, and applicants must meet certain eligibility requirements to qualify.
Discover the Social Security Blue Book Listing
The Social Security Administration has established an official handbook for disability claims which specifies eligible medical conditions and diagnostic symptoms for which is evaluating compensation. There may be variations in eligibility and result based on whether the application is granted or denied. However, keep in mind that everyone’s set of circumstances is unique. Your claim will be evaluated by the Social Security physicians and medical specialists.
If you are considering applying for SSD benefits, it is important to consult with a Law Firm that can help you navigate the application process. A qualified lawyer can help you gather the evidence you need to support your claim and can represent you at your social security disability hearing.