Preparing for your Social Security disability hearing can be a stressful experience. The good news is that there are steps you can take to help you prepare and lower the stress levels that you might experience. Keep in mind that being nervous is okay, it is part of your personality, but you should not pay your fear too much heed. The good news is that the hearing itself is straightforward and is designed to gather facts, not make accusations about your condition or ability to work.
The first thing you should know is that a disability hearing is not like a criminal trial with a prosecution and defense. Instead, your case will be heard by an Administrative Law Judge (ALJ) who will decide your case based on the merits which include your testimony, medical evidence, and the arguments that you or your counsel will make.
Understand Your Case
Remember, you are filing for disability benefits, not trying to return to work because your physical or medical condition will not allow it. The ALJ) will need to understand why you cannot go back to any of your past employments over the past 15 years before you became disabled. This usually means any job in which you are expected to perform five days a week, eight hours per day.
Remember that going to work means more than simply showing up. You must be physically or mentally able to work eight hours without having to take breaks. This means staying at your post without excessive trips to the bathroom, having to recline or lie down, or having to take time away from your work for extended periods.
Also, you will need to consider how well you can perform the tasks required at work. For physical labor, how well you can hold up day after day in executing your duties as compared to when you were physically fit. If you had an office job, how well you can concentrate and hold up for every task you must perform. The better you can relate the specific issues that prevent you from performing work for eight hours each day, five days per week, the more you can convince the ALJ that disability benefits are your best option.
You can always hire a knowledgeable, experienced Social Security attorney. They will help you organize your case, advise on what you need to know, when and where to be present, how you should dress, and any issues that you should be aware. Remember that you can always seek out assistance from reputable organizations such as the Disability Help Group of Arizona. They have helped thousands handle cases just like yours and can provide valuable assistance.
If you are disabled, perhaps out of work, have been denied disability benefits, or you just have some questions about the process of appeals, please contact the Disability Help Group of Arizona by calling (888) 939-4692 or through our website. We will be happy to answer your questions and even represent your case.