With all the changes that have recently taken place with many of the local disability attorneys, I have received several calls from people who have many questions about the hearing process and a common question is about the hearing itself. Remarkably, many law firms do not have a lawyer spend time with their clients prior to the hearing. A quick summary of how to prepare for your Missouri disability hearing.
Hopefully you will be meeting with your attorney well before the hearing. First and foremost review what you have submitted to Social Security when you applied. This is one of the major stumbling blocks that I see. People have inconsistencies and inaccuracies in their Work History and Residual Functional Capacity forms. Review your file with your attorney prior to the hearing.
Second be able to tell the judge how your conditions limit your activities. Many people say “I have X disease” and stop there. That doesn’t tell the judge anything. You need to be able to tell the judge what it is about the combination of all your physical and mental problems that is going to keep you from being able to show up to work 5 days a week for 8 hours and day and be productive.
I always schedule a face to face meeting with my disability clients in my office prior to his/her Social Security disability hearing. I try to meet several times prior to the actual hearing date to discuss the hearing itself 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.
Each judge has his or her own hearings style. Some judges have the claimants disability lawyer ask the questions. Other judges ask almost all of the questions themselves. Regardless of whether the judge or your disability attorney asks the questions, there is certain information that every claimant should know and be able to discuss clearly and accurately.
For instance, a question you will be asked is, “How long can you stand?” The wrong answer, but if you are not prepared, a likely answer is “I have never really thought about it – I just don’t know.” Another example is “how long can you walk?”
Your attorney should help you prepare this information and if he or she does not, it can hurt the outcome of your disability claim. Be sure you receive personal attention from your attorney. Ask questions about the hearing and what you should prepare.
Please call Jason Krebs of the Krebs Law Firm LLC for a personal approach as your Springfield Missouri Disability lawyer case that ensures you are prepared and educated on the process. The consultation is free.