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What questions are asked at a disability hearing?

By Lauryn May 27, 2020

Preparing for a Social Security Disability Insurance (SSDI) hearing can be daunting. At The Advocator Group we work behind the scenes and with our clients to ensure they are ready to take part in this very important piece of their SSDI journey.

In preparing for your SSDI hearing, it is important to know what will take place and what will be expected of you as the claimant. You should expect to be asked many questions during the hearing as the Administrative Law Judge (ALJ) is looking to develop a full picture of your condition and understand the impact of your impairments on your everyday life. Even though there may be many questions asked, a disability hearing is much more like a roundtable discussion between parties instead of the court room dramas we have come to know from television. You may rest easy knowing the proceeding is closed to the public with only a few parties allowed.

During the hearing, the ALJ will typically begin with questioning you before allowing your attorney to do so. Throughout the questioning, you are given the opportunity to testify directly to all parties, but specially the ALJ, about your disabilities and the challenges they have posed on your day-to-day life.

While there is no definitive list of questions that are asked at a hearing, we have put together a list of questions that claimants should be prepared to answer at their disability hearing.

Work history
How long have you worked?
When did you stop working?
Since you originally stopped working, have you made any attempts to return to work?

Earnings records
Since you originally stopped working, have you received any source of income?
What type of income have you received?
Is any of the income received from employment?

Past job duties
In your previous job, how often would you sit, stand, and walk?
Did you ever push, pull, or lift items?
If you were required to lift objects, how often and how heavy?

Lifestyle limitations
How was your condition limited you in your daily activities?
Are you able to bathe yourself, cook, clean house, drive, run errands without assistance?
How have your activities changed since your conditions developed?

Medical treatment and diagnoses
What condition(s) are keeping you from working?
Have you sought any medical treatment for your condition(s)?
Have you experienced any complications?
Are you currently taking any medications?
Is there evidence of your condition worsening over time?

If you are anxious about your disability hearing, having professional representation can help. An experienced SSDI attorney has heard the questions an ALJ might ask dozens, if not hundreds, of times and can help you adequately prepare.

If your disability hearing is fast approaching and you need representation, be sure to reach out to The Advocator Group today!

Nothing in this post is intended as advice or a suggestion to elect or not elect to claim benefits of any kind, including Social Security benefits, nor is it intended as financial advice in any way.  The decision to claim benefits is a personal one that is contingent upon each individual’s unique circumstances.

Need help applying for SSDI?

The Advocator Group can help you better understand and take advantage of the many benefits of Social Security Disability, to help maximize your financial well-being during your period of disability.