If your Social Security disability claim has reached the hearing stage, you’ve already been through a lot; the limitations imposed by your impairments, of course, but the disability process itself is long and stressful. You likely have been informed by your New York Social Security disability lawyer that statistically, this is your best opportunity to be approved for benefits, and it’s important to make the most of it.
Unlike your initial application and again on reconsideration, at the hearing you are permitted to testify. Although the hearing is less formal than a court trial, it is an evidentiary hearing in front of a judge, and your testimony is given under oath and recorded. You are entitled to representation by a New York Social Security disability lawyer at the hearing.
The administrative law judge in your case will have reviewed your file prior to the case, but he or she may need clarification on certain issues. Among the issues that may be examined based on the specifics of your case are:
- Your work history
- Your educational background
- Your complete medical history
- Your impairments
- Your symptoms
- Your work limitations
- Your daily life limitations
In most cases, your narrative regarding your limitations at work and in your daily life will be of paramount interest to the judge.
How you present yourself is often as or more important than what you actually say. You should dress and be groomed appropriately for the occasion and look at the judge as you speak. The most important point to remember is to always be truthful. While most people realize this means they should not exaggerate or invent symptoms, it is also important that you not minimize or underplay your condition. You should not be concerned with seeming to be a complainer; tell your story.
Your story is personal to you; avoid speaking in clinical, medical terms, although you no doubt are somewhat of an expert on your condition. The judge has the medical files, but doesn’t know what only you can explain; how you feel, how severe is the pain, and what can you no longer do that once you could? This is your story; tell it.
Contact a New York Social Security Disability Lawyer for Legal Advice
Most applicants are initially denied disability. It is important to persevere and appeal. To explore your options at any stage of the proceeding, call Hermann Law Group, PLLC, a Social Security Hackensack NJ law firm, at (914) 286-3030.