The Most Important Part of Your Disability Hearing is YOU!
by: Disability Group
Throughout the disability claims process, most of the emphasis is placed on getting regular treatment from your doctor and obtaining treatment records to deliver to the Social Security Administration (SSA). Once your social security disability hearing date has arrived, you will have a large file of medical records for the judge to review. The experienced social security disability attorneys at The Disability Group, Inc. can help you obtain these records and submit them to SSA on your behalf.
A complete treatment history is only one important piece of a disability hearing. An often overlooked element is YOU. Your testimony at the hearing can determine whether you are awarded benefits. Here are some tips for delivering effective testimony:
- Be Honest! If a judge believes you are being untruthful about something, even if it is minor, he may not believe anything else you say. You are in the best position to describe your disabilities; you do not want to jeopardize your credibility by being untruthful or exaggerating your claims. Honestly involves telling the positive and the negative. Any claimant who states they never leave the house and do not do any activities will not be taken seriously by the judge. Instead, you should describe your activities in detail – noting where you need additional help, breaks, or that you can only do the activity for a short amount of time.
- Be Detailed! Instead of just saying that you are in pain, describe what the pain feels like, how long it last, how often it occurs, and exactly where it is located. The judge will not assume any of this information. While it is understandable that you may not know an exact answer to a question, you should approximate. Very few people actually know how long they can sit at one time, yet this is a frequent question in a disability hearing. You should give the judge you best guess so that this information can be taken into account when deciding your case. If you say nothing at all, the judge may assume you have no limitations in that area.
- Be Respectful! Judges are people just like you and I. People often act according to how they are treated. Always speak politely and avoid offensive conduct. Since the hearing is informal and you may dress comfortably, but you should be clean and appropriate in order to convey the seriousness of the situation and respect for the process.
Even though most of the work on your case is done prior to the hearing, you can destroy your entire case by compromising your credibility at the hearing. Before you attend, think of ways to describe your limitations and daily activities. The attorneys at Disability Group, Inc. will help you think over your testimony and prepare to be an excellent witness at your hearing.
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