How to Answer Questions at a Social Security Disability Income (SSDI) Hearing: Part 5

Steps to successfully apply for Social Security disability
Feb 1, 2016 … Roughly one-third of applications for Social Security disability benefits are ultimately approved. How to make sure yours is among them.

Unfortunately, if the Administrative Law Judge believes you are overstating your symptoms, you will lose your credibility and if the Judge does not believe you then you will most likely lose your claim for stance, if the Administrative Law Judge ask you to rate your pain on a scale one to ten on an everyday average, it would not be a good idea to answer your daily pain is at a ten.  State your daily pain is five, six, or even seven is more believable than 10.  Now if your pain escalates at times then should state at times my pain level goes up to a nine or ten, then provide an explanation as to what is your worse symptoms like grocery shopping, sitting too long, cleaning, walking upstairs, etc. When explaining you symptoms avoid phrases like constantly, every day, all the time, unless it is absolutely accurate.

Having multiple impairments, be careful about accuracy in your descriptions for each symptom.  If you inform the Judge that all of your impairments are extremely severe and painful this can compromise your reliability of truly severe impairments diagnoses rely solely or partly on self-reported pain levels.

Having Representation at Your Hearing

Having an experienced disability lawyer or non-attorney representative can help you to answer the questions to help support your disability claim than possibly undermine it.  A Social Security Disability advocate can help with pre-hearing preparation will help you avoid answering the judge’s question in a way that will not hurt your case and any fears you have.  However, a disability representative can answer many of the Administrative Law Judge’s questions that come up at a disability hearing.

Step by Step Guidance

Check out our step by step guidance eBook to save you some time and confusion in areas where you may struggle.

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How to Answer Questions at a Social Security Disability Income (SSDI) Hearing: Part 2

Most disability appeal court hearing normally last under an hour and some can be very short as 15 minutes, so you can count on having no questions to answer for an extended time period.

It may be helpful to practice answering questions with your family member, friend, or attorney.  If you find yourself drifting from the topic of the questions, pause and take a deep breath until you able to refocus on your answer.  Just make sure you practice the questions with your attorney or get a copy of practice questions you are likely to encounter before the hearing date that way you can familiarize yourself with and practice them.

Be Specific and Clear About your Symptoms and Limitations

By giving specific answers to an Administrative Law Judge (ALJ) will have a clear picture of your impairment?  For instance, if you suffer from back problems then the Judge will ask you to describe the pain, use descriptive words such as “tingling,” “shooting,” “aching,” “dull,” or “burning.”  Make sure you clearly describe the location of any pain that affect you from working.  That way it will help the Administrative Law Judge to know your symptoms are persistent will recognize symptoms of your medical condition, which can help your credibility.

Always be specific when describing your limitations and condition.  For instance, if the Administrative Law Judge asks you how long can you sit, don’t indicate “for just a little while,” just say for an hour or 30 minutes it depends on without pain I am unable to sit.  If the Judge asks are you able to drive short distances?  Answer the Judge question by saying “I can drive to my doctor’s office, which is about 4 miles away.”

Be Prepared to Explain Any Gaps in Your Medical History

Frequently a disability claimant will have periods of time when he or she received little or no medical treatment.  The Administrative Law Judge will ask the claimant about the gaps in care.  Always answer the question with honesty the reason why you did not seek treatment is due to not having medical insurance.  If your health condition improved during that time, it is better to state and explain this than give an untruthful answer because losing your credibility with the Judge can risk losing your disability claim.

Step by Step Guidance

Check out our step by step guidance eBook to save you some time and confusion in areas where you may struggle.

Please feel free to write a comment or feedback in the website blog page.

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