Any time a petition for benefits faces denial, you have the right to appeal the decision in court in a proceeding known as a hearing. During your hearing, the Administrative Law Judge (ALJ) overseeing your case will ask you a variety of important questions you must answer very carefully. The success of your hearing and your potential benefits depend on it. To ensure your preparedness, having trusted Social Security disability attorneys on your side is essential. Our Social Security disability attorneys at Aiello Law Group will make sure you’re fully aware of what you should know and expect to come up at your disability hearing.
Are You Taking Medications As Prescribed?
While your records may disclose the medication(s) prescribed to you, you will likely still need to clarify if you are taking your medication as recommended. If you have stopped taking one of your medications or are getting new prescriptions from additional physicians, this is the moment to speak up. The more upfront you are about your pharmaceutical habits, the stronger your case for approval will be.
What Activities Do You Do/Enjoy?
This question might seem like a trap, but ultimately it will help your ALJ will determine the extent of your disability. You should answer honestly, but while doing so, describe in detail the difficulties and limitations you experience and what kind of help you need because of them. You should also make sure to mention any significant differences in the way you currently do things versus how you used to do them before your disability.
Can You Drive?
It is perfectly legal for disabled drivers to own a license and operate a vehicle, so you should not feel concerned about letting your ALJ know you can drive. If you cannot drive because of your disability, though, you should absolutely bring it up as it is relevant to your case and may affect your benefits’ approval.
Why Can’t You Work?
The leading reason mentally and physically disabled individuals seek disability benefits is because they can’t maintain consistent, gainful employment. When your ALJ asks about your reasons for being unable to work, you will need to have a detailed explanation defining the full extent of your disabilities and how they limit your employment.
Do You Smoke Cigarettes/Use Alcohol or Drugs?
Substance use and abuse can dramatically impact the outcome of a disability case, but your honesty about it is even more important. You do not want to be dishonest about your substance habits. Your medical records will show if you’ve had drugs or alcohol in your system, which means there’s no point in lying.
Do You Care For Any Children?
If you are responsible for a child, there’s no sense in trying to hide it from your ALJ. Simply use any mention of children or dependents to express, once again, how difficult it is for you to be a quality caretaker while disabled, how your disability affects your abilities as a parent, and how additional assistance can change your life.
Don’t Go Alone
Your hearing is your chance to prove to a judge that you need and deserve disability benefits. Every answer to every question asked should lead back to your disability and specific limitations to keep everyone’s focus where it belongs: your need for assistance. Therefore, the smartest thing you can do is make sure you have experienced Social Security disability attorneys at your hearing to help you and even speak on your behalf when necessary. It’s the most effective way to assure your approval, and our Social Security disability attorneys at Aiello Law Group are happy to help. Call us, today, at 313.964.4900 or fill out the form in the sidebar or on our contact page, and learn more about how we can help you.