Posts Tagged ‘disability hearings’

What Daily Activity Questions Are Asked At The Social Security Disability Hearing?

Thursday, July 25th, 2013

At the Social Security disability hearing the claimant will be asked about their daily activities by the judge or their attorney, such as:

Are you licensed to drive?
Do you drive?
Do you have difficulty driving?
Are you able to drive long distances?
What time do you get up in the morning?
What time to you go to sleep?
Do you sleep well at night?
Do you rest during the day?
Do you lie down during the day?
What time do you eat meals?
Do you prepare your own meals?
Are you able to perform the following household chores?
Washing dishes? Washing Clothes? Vacuuming? Making beds?
Take out the garbage? Mow the yard? Do other housework?
Do you take walks?
Do you watch TV?
Do you use a computer?
Do you have difficulties with: Bathing? Showering?
Dressing yourself? Combing your hair? Brushing your teeth?
Do you go shopping?
Do you visit with friends or family?
Do you have young children at home?
Do you take care of any pets?
Do you have difficulty getting along with people?
Are you a member of any clubs, organizations or church?
Are you involved in any of the following recreational activies?
Going to movies? Going out to eat? Sports? Theme Parks?

When testifying you need to provide detailed information about your daily activities to the Social Security disability judge in order to prove that your medical conditions are severe and disabling and prevent you from working.

By James W. Nuebel
Orlando Social Security Disability Attorney

What Functional Capacity Questions Are Asked At The Social Security Disability Hearing?

Thursday, July 25th, 2013

At the Social Security disability hearing the claimant will be asked about their functional capacity limitations by the judge or their attorney, such as:

Are you limited in the use of your shoulders, arms, wrists or hands?
Describe your limitations?
Are you able to reach your arms above shoulder level?
Are you able to use your hands for repetitive movements?
How long can you sit comfortably in one spot?
How long can you stand in one spot?
Do you have difficulty walking?
How far can you walk?
Do you need a cane or crutches to walk?
Do you have difficulty bending, stooping or crouching?
How much can you lift or carry?
Do you have any balance problems?

When testifying you need to give detailed information regarding your functional capacity limitations so the Social Security judge can determine if your limitations are severe enough to prevent you from working and make a favorable ruling in awarding you Social Security disability benefits.

By James W. Nuebel
Orlando Social Security Disability Attorney

What Medical Questions Are Asked At The Social Security Disability Hearing?

Saturday, June 22nd, 2013

At the Social Security disability hearing the claimant will be asked about their medical conditions, illnesses and injuries by the judge or their attorney, such as:

Describe your illness/injury/condition
Do you experience pain?
Where? How often? How severe?
Do you take medications to relieve pain?
Do you receive regular medical treatment?
What types of treatment?
Medications? Physical therapy? Counseling?
Any side effects from medications?
Have you ever been treated for a mental condition?
Depression? Anxiety? Schizophrenia?
Have you had any hospital ER visits?
Any hospitalizations?
Any surgeries?

When testifying it is most beneficial to give detailed information regarding your disabling medical conditions that prevent you from working so the Social Security disability judge can assess the severity of your medical conditions in determining whether to award you Social Security disability benefits.

By James W. Nuebel
Orlando Social Security Disability Attorney

What Work History Questions Are Asked At The Social Security Disability Hearing?

Friday, June 7th, 2013

At the Social Security disability hearing either the judge or your attorney will ask you the following general questions regarding your work history such as-

Are you currently working?
Full-time or part-time?
When was the date you last worked?
What type of jobs have you worked in past 15 years?
For your most recent job-
Name of employer
Job title
Dates of employment
Job duties
Why did you leave that employment?

Some Social Security judges like to have the claimant testify in great detail about their past relevant work for the past 15 years while other judges will rely more on what’s already in the claimant’s Social Security file which has information on past jobs, earnings history, past employers, job duties etc.
For a Social Security disability claim the claimant has to prove not only that they can not perform their past relevant work due to severe and disabling medical conditions but also have to prove that they can not perform any other jobs based on their age, education, medical conditions, restrictions and limitations.
Generally an older and less educated claimant has a better chance of being found disabled than a younger and betted educated claimant. Of course, the most important factor in a Social Security disablity claim is to have severe and disabling medical conditions that prevent you from doing any work.

By James W. Nuebel
Orlando Social Security Disability Attorney

What Background Questions Are Asked at the Social Security Disability Hearing?

Friday, June 7th, 2013

At the Social Security disability hearing either the judge or your attorney will ask the following general questions regarding your background and biographical information such as –

Your name?
Your date of birth?
Your marital status?
Does your spouse work?
Do you have minor children?
Highest grade completed in school?
Ever serve in the military?
Your current source of income?
Do you have health insurance or Medicaid?
What is your height and weight?
Do you have a valid driver’s license?

These may seem like rather innocuous straight forward questions but your answers may have unintended consequences. For example if you testified that you have three children under age six at home that you take care of during the day the Social Security judge may consider this evidence that you do not have severe impairments that prevent you from working and use this as a basis in denying your claim. Or if you testify that you have health insurance but your medical records indicate that you did not seek much medical treatment for your medical onditions the judge may rule that your medical conditions are not severe and disabling enough to prevent you from working and deny your Social Security disability claim. However, for example, if applicable and truthful, you further explained to the judge that your mother in law lives a block away and helps with the children everyday and that you only had health insurance coverage the last three months then this puts the evidence in a better light and would be more favorable for the claimant.

By James W. Nuebel
Orlando Social Security Disability Attorney

What To Wear At Your Social Security Hearing

Thursday, April 25th, 2013

My clients often ask me what they should wear at their Social Security Disability Hearing and I advise them to wear casual clothing that they feel comfortable in. I suggest they dress like they would when meeting a friend to see a movie or going out for a casual dinner. Also I advise people to wear long sleeve clothing if their forearms are displayed in tatoo’s, to remove any piercing rings from their eyebrows, nose or lips, to not wear any hats or caps and only wear a minimal amount of jewelry. You want to make a favorable first impression to the judge deciding your Social Security disability claim.

By James W. Nuebel
Orlando Social Security Disability Attorney

Doctors and Social Security Disability Claims

Monday, April 22nd, 2013

When filing a Social Security disability claim make sure you discuss early in the process with your treating doctor(s) if they are willing to complete any Medical Source Statements (MSS) that your attorney may want the doctor to complete.

A Medical Source Statement is a form provided by your attorney to be completed by your doctor that has options the doctor can check off and write the basis for their opinions on your limitations and restrictions. For example, a MSS may have questions requesting how many continuous hours a claimant could stand in an eight hour workday or how many days the claimant would miss in a month or how much would the claimant be off task in a work day due to their medical conditions.

Sometimes a doctor will refuse to complete a MSS for the Social Security disability claimant and it is best to know upfront if your doctor will cooperate with you and your attorney in documenting the extent of your medical conditions.

By James W. Nuebel
Orlando Social Security Disability Attorney