Questioning at a Winston-Salem SSDI Hearing
If you have been denied both a claim and a subsequent appeal for social security disability benefits, you may feel that your situation is hopeless. However, there is still a legal option available in the form of an SSD hearing.
Here, you could state your case to an administrative law judge (ALJ) and have another opportunity to get the benefits you need. However, the hearing process could prove difficult and complex for underprepared claimants. Instead of trying to represent yourself during a hearing, consider calling a seasoned attorney to help prepare you for questioning at a Winston-Salem SSD hearing.
What Types of Questions Should Someone Be Prepared to Answer at an SSD Hearing?
A claimant should be prepared to answer questions about whether they are currently working, as well as any work they have performed in the past 15 years. Before this, there are usually initial questions about basic identifying information such as name, level of education, marital status, birth date, Social Security number, and if the claimant is currently employed, the types of activities they have to perform.
Often, the judge will have questions about exertional limitations and non-exertional limitations related to a claimant’s job. Exertional limitations cover basic physical functions often required at work, such as sitting, standing, walking, lifting, carrying, pushing, and pulling. Non-exertional impairments, on the other hand, relate to the psychological aspects of work, including paying attention, concentrating on a task, or understanding and remembering detailed instructions.
Asking About Past Employment
As mentioned above, the administrative law judge is usually interested in any work the plaintiff has done in the past 15 years. The plaintiff should be able to include the types of job they have done, as well as the activities they performed on a day-to-day basis in their response. While this may seem easy to recall for some individuals, it could prove beneficial to review this information prior to a hearing.
This is because an ALJ is often interested in specific pieces of information about past employment, such as how much weight was lifted, pushed, or pulled on the job, as well as how much standing or walking was done on the job. Based on this information, the judge must consider whether the claimant is able to return to their previous work. The only way they can do this effectively, then, is to hear details about a plaintiff’s previous work-related duties. Because of the often-meticulous nature of compiling this information for a hearing, a claimant may benefit from hiring a detail-oriented attorney for help.
Investigating the Disability
Because the claimant’s job description and its duties are the main focus of an SSD hearing, the judge will have many questions about their injuries. Questioning at a Winston-Salem SSDI hearing may concern, for example, any chronic pain the plaintiff suffers, where the pain is located, and how it manifests itself.
Furthermore, a judge will then question a claimant’s ability to perform exertional tasks, such as lifting, standing, and walking, as well as non-exertional tasks due to their injury. Essentially, the primary purpose behind these questions is to determine what a claimant can and cannot due, and how that level of functionality may affect — or has affected — their work.
A Judge May Ask About a Claimant’s Treatment
After assessing a claimant’s disability and levels of functionality, it is very common for the judge to then ask about where a claimant about treatment. Specifically, how they were treated for the injuries that have kept them from work, which doctors they consulted, and which medical providers they used.
How an Attorney Could Help Prepare Someone For Questioning at a Winston-Salem SSD Hearing
If you are seeking disability benefits under the social security system and have been denied, you may still be able to receive benefits through an SSD hearing. While this process gives you a chance to explain your damages to a judge, however, it is still a complex system and often requires extensive preparation.
A hard-working attorney could help you to prepare for this hearing by discussing the process step-by-step and explaining the types of questions you may be asked. By enlisting a lawyer, you could take comfort in the fact that a seasoned legal professional is by your side during questioning at a Winston-Salem SSD hearing. To learn how an attorney could help you with a hearing to seek benefits, call today.