Candor is the most important quality you want to display in a Social Security disability hearing. The quickest way to lose a good disability case is to cause the judge to think that you’re not being honest. So when the judge asks a question, don’t try to figure out why the judge is asking it or whether certain answers will help or hurt your case. Be candid about your abilities, as well as about your limitations.
Also refrain from play-acting for the judge. For example, don’t fake cry or pretend to be in more pain than you actually are. On the other hand, there’s no need to be stoic and minimize your problems when the judge asks you how you feel. If you need to rest, take medication, or use the bathroom during the hearing, ask the judge for a break. If you are uncomfortable sitting and need to stand for a bit, just ask the judge. Springfield, Massachusetts Social Security disability lawyer Jonathan Abbott, can give you more advice on what to expect at a disability hearing.
Don’t Hold Back
Ask around and some people will tell you that when dealing with the government, you should keep their mouth shut and not volunteer any information. Although this might be true when you are asking the government to do something to you, it is not true when you are asking the government to do something for you. The disability hearing will be your chance to tell the judge everything about how and why your condition prevents you from holding a job. Thus, you need to give enough facts, details, and explanations in your testimony to persuade the judge that you truly are disabled.
If you can’t remember an exact date, just say so. Then, give your best estimate of a month and year, or a season and year, or just the year. Everyone gets dates wrong from time to time. The judge won’t assume you’re lying if it turns out that a date you gave is incorrect.
Areas of Testimony
Topics you may be asked about at the hearing include:
- What type of schooling you had.
- Where you’ve worked.
- What medical issues you’ve had.
- What your medical symptoms are.
- Your typical day or week.
- What type of work can or can’t you perform.