A disability benefits hearing before an Administrative Law Judge (ALJ) can be an intimidating experience. Because of this, many applicants make their disability seem worse than it actually is. If you need help with our disability benefits application contact a leading Phoenix, AZ Social Security Disability lawyer today.
The answer is simple, your best option for winning a favorable decision at a disability benefits hearing is to be honest and truthful about every aspect of your condition. Here are a few tips to help keep you honest:
1. Avoid Vague Answers When answering questions relating to the intensity or frequency of your symptoms, the ALJ appreciates detailed responses. If you get migraine headaches five to six days per week, do not respond with, Migraines hurt bad and I get them a lot. Instead, provide a detailed response that demonstrates how frequent and painful your migraines are. This will also provide the ALJ will a complete picture of your condition, which can lead to an approval of benefits.
2. Do Not Exaggerate or Minimize Your Condition If you only need your walker on certain days and on your hearing day you feel alright, leave your walker home. If on hearing day you can barely move, use your wheelchair. If an ALJ asks you how bad your pain is on a scale of one to ten and you say, Ten in the courtroom, the judge will know you are exaggerating. If your pain is a ten, odds are you would be heading to the ER, not a courtroom.
Other people minimize their symptoms. You are at the hearing to discuss your day-to-day limitations. If your disability prevents you from doing housework, say it. If you cannot leave the house because of severe pain, tell the ALJ.
3. Do Not Volunteer Information When asked a question directly, answer it honestly. However, it is best if you only address what was asked and do not volunteer information that might be harmful to your case.
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Our disability benefits lawyers will make sure that you are well-prepared for your hearing well in advance. The hearing portion of the appeals process is one of the most important steps, and we are dedicated to helping you get the benefits you need.