Three tips for testifying at your Social Security Disability hearing
I know that sounds really simple but these three tips are probably the most useful information you can have when preparing for a hearing before a judge.
1) 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, people will typically SAY 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 you shouldn’t be totally shocked at what you hear.
2) Be responsive
LISTEN TO THE QUESTION. I tell people all the time that my biggest job as an attorney is to save my clients from themselves. I say that because most people are so anxious to talk about their problems that they don’t stop to to listen to the questions being asked. 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.
3) Be truthful
The fastest way to kill your case is to lie. Now, there is a difference between lying and not remembering. There is a difference between lying and not being sure. No one can make you remember something you don’t remember. Also, you’ve waited a long time to have a hearing so you may not be sure of the details of a situation. However, the last thing you want to do is ‘lie’ or come off as someone who is trying to make themselves sound worse than they really are.
Remember, you have waited over a year to finally get your day in court. Make sure you do what you can to make the most of your day.