What can I expect from my Social Security disability hearing?

You have suffered from chronic pain for so long it’s the rule, not the exception. It’s hard to leave the house, much less drive or sit at a desk for eight hours a day. You like to work, but it’s getting to the point where the only effective way to handle your pain is by staying home. But you have to be able to survive without the steady paycheck you enjoyed for years.

A friend advises you to file a claim with the Social Security Administration to obtain disability insurance benefits. After a very long wait, the federal government, which oversees the Social Security program, grants you a hearing to examine your case and help decide your level of eligibility. Suddenly, you are very nervous. It feels like your future is at stake, and it is.

A Social Security disability hearing can be nerve-wracking for those unfamiliar with the process. An

administrative law judge will head up the hearing. Depending on the person on the bench, a hearing can be adversarial and accusatory or relaxed and easy. Either way, it’s best to prepare with the help of an attorney. You don’t want to go it alone and make a mistake that could cause you to lose your case after such a long wait.

Some judges will ask you to describe your pain on a scale of 1 – 10. Don’t exaggerate your pain and how it affects your daily life. A judge will see through that and could nix a disability claim that is honestly reasonable and appropriate under the circumstances. At the same time, don’t minimize your symptoms. You will be asked questions such as how long you can sit/stand, how much you can lift/carry, how far you can walk without stopping to take a break. You will be asked to describe a typical day discussing the day-to-day problems your illness or injury causes you, and why it prevents you from going to work and elsewhere. Tell the judge even if your condition depresses you, or makes cooking for yourself difficult. Your will be asked about whether you experience any side-effects from your medications or treatment. The judge needs to know specifically what you are dealing with as your claim is evaluated.

You should talk to an attorney skilled in disability claims. He or she will help you prepare for the hearing and cover likely questions for your particular type of disability or issues particular judges focus on. You will be waiting a long time for your hearing and you want to be ready in order to increase your chances of being approved for your disability benefits. Once you are approved, you can relax and focus 100 percent on your own health and well-being.

The experienced Social Security disability lawyers at Murphy & Garner, LLC have decades of experience handling disability cases and will fight for the compensation you deserve. For your free consultation call us today at 678-563-1584, or visit us online.

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