If you have been denied Social Security Disability benefits and have appealed that denial decision, it’s likely you’ll need to have a hearing with an Administrative Law Judge. You will be waiting a while – most claimants wait anywhere from 1-2 years until their hearing.
Describing Your Disability to an Administrative Law Judge at Your Disability Hearing
When your hearing finally does happen, you will be asked questions by the judge. These questions will include the types of limitations you have and how those limitations affect your life.
Specific answers are the best way to explain your disability and how it affects you. For example, if you have neck pain, it’s important to use descriptive words like “burning,” “aching,” “shooting pain,” “throbbing,” etc. If you can’t sit or stand for a long period of time, use specific times like “I can only sit for an hour” or “I can only stand for 10 minutes.” If you have trouble bending or lifting, say things like “I can only lift 5 pounds at a time” or “I can’t bend down and touch the floor at all.”
These specific descriptions of your limitations can reinforce your need for disability benefits, which is why it’s so important you use descriptive words when answering the judge’s questions.
How a Disability Lawyer Can Help You Get Benefits
Having an attorney to help you with your disability hearing can be crucial to getting the benefits you deserve. An experienced disability lawyer can coach you to use more precise words and phrases before your hearing. This way you can properly explain to the judge how your disabilities affect your day-to-day life.
An attorney can also explain, on your behalf, how your medical records back up your claims in court. You may have discussed with your doctors how you are limited because of your disability. Your doctors may have also done their own evaluations to determine what you could and could not do. These evaluations were recorded in your medical records.
At the hearing, your attorney can show the court these medical assessments, which will also back up what the judge hears from you. Although your doctor cannot say that you’re disabled according to Social Security’s rules, their assessment of your conditions and their effect on your ability to function can help the judge rule in your favor.
Has your initial disability application been denied? We may be able to help. Call RSH Legal today at 1-800-433-0283.
FightingForFairness.com – At your Iowa Social Security Disability hearing, you will need to describe your limitations clearly and openly. Iowa disability lawyer Corey Luedeman explains the best way to provide context for your limitations in this video.