Getting ready for a disability hearing can be a very stressful experience. Many people are not familiar court. Disability hearings are usually more informal than typical hearings. The judge might be wearing a robe, the judge will formally admit records into evidence and swear people to tell the truth but other than that, they can be informal.
Either you judge or your lawyer will start by asking a few introductory questions. Things like: name, birthday, height, weight, address. Then the judge will want to know more specifics, things like do you have a driver's license, who do you live with, do you have any income coming in to you house. Then the judge will want to know more about your past work. We will talk about why you stopped working and what other jobs you have had in the last 15 years.
Next we will talk about why it is hard for you to work. This will be more specific to your case. If you are in pain, we will talk about where your pain is, what causes your pain to get worse and what helps your pain. If you have mental health impairments we will talk about how your mental health symptoms make it hard for you to work. We will ask you questions about how your mental health symptoms affect your ability to concentrate. We will talk about the treatment you have had; things like physical therapy, medication, surgeries. We will talk about whether any of those have helped. We will also talk about any negative side effects you have had from your treatment.
And lastly at your hearing we will discuss what a typical day is like for you. We will talk about if you drive, how often you drive and where you go. We will talk about what time you get up, what you do after you wake up and if you are able to do household chores. We will ask if you cook, do dishes, vacuum, sweep, do laundry, dust or do the grocery shopping. We will also talk in very specific ways about how much you can lift, how much you can lift repeatedly, how far you can walk and how long you can stand before you need to take a break.
Now every hearing is different, but these are topics that are often covered in hearings. A claimant's only job is to tell the truth.