I have 4 tips for testifying at your Missouri Social Security Disability hearing: Be prepared, Be consistent, Be responsive and Be truthful!!
These sound obvious but these 4 tips are probably the most useful information you can have when preparing for a hearing before a judge.
1) Be prepared
Prepare with the lawyer who will be handling your case at the hearing (not an assistant or paralegal). I always schedule a face-to-face meeting with my disability clients in my office prior to his/her Social Security disability hearing. Usually, I try to meet several times prior to the actual hearing date to discuss the hearing procedures and to practice answering the questions that are likely going to be asked. This is not a rehearsal or attempt to get “canned” answers, but rather to get my clients to understand the hearing procedure so they know what to expect and are not overwhelmed with the process.
2) Be consistent
During the disability process, you have filled out a lot of forms. You have gone to a lot of doctors and talked to a lot of people. Sometimes, it’s hard to remember everything you’ve said or written down. However, if you are truly having the same problems over and over again, you should be saying the same things over and over again. Most importantly, the judge is probably going to ask you things that you’ve already answered in forms or to a doctor so making your claims worse or different is usually not a good idea.
3) Be responsive
LISTEN TO THE QUESTION. Don’t talk yourself out of benefits. When the judge asks you a ‘yes’ or ‘no’ question, answer ‘yes’ or ‘no’. Don’t give extra comments or words. You will get the chance to tell your side of the story. Just listen to the question. This is where the preparation in #1 above is so important.
4) Be truthful
Credibility is a hard thing to build and an easy thing to lose. The fastest way to kill your case is to lose credibility by lying. Often the judge is asking you questions she knows the answer to already. This is a credibility test. There is a difference between lying and not remembering. If you don’t remember something, you don’t remember. The last thing you want to do is ‘lie’ or come off as someone who is trying to make yourself sound worse than you really are. The judge does this everyday for a living, it’s unlikely that you are going to “pull the wool” of his eyes.
I know many of these tips sound like common sense but you would be surprised at how these little tips can go a long way towards helping you improve your chances of winning your Missouri Social Security disability case.
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The Krebs Law Firm LLC offers a free case evaluation if you have questions about your Social Security disability claim. Many people may be worried that they do not have the money to pay for a Missouri disability lawyer or Northwest Arkansas Social Security disability lawyer, but we only handle Social Security cases on a contingent fee basis. In other words, there is no fee unless we are successful in getting you the benefits that you deserve. If you would like to speak to Jason Krebs and his staff simply call (417) 883-5886 for your free case evaluation or to discuss your appeal today! Do not delay as you only have 60 days to ask for a reconsideration if you live in Arkansas or Oklahoma and 60 days to ask for an appeal in Missouri.