Everyday People Matter

How to Respond to Common Medical Questions at a Disability Hearing

| May 31, 2016 | Administrative Law Judges, Medical Records

At a typical disability hearing, you can expect plenty of questions about your medical condition, the treatment you are undergoing and other medical and health-related aspects of your case. It’s very important to be absolutely certain about the kind of limitations your condition places on you. Being vague, or sounding uncertain at a disability hearing, could prove disastrous for your case.

For instance, if you are seeking disability benefits for a condition that involves a lot of pain, you will be expected to describe the intensity of your pain. Being vague, hesitating, or exaggerating your symptoms will not help. The judge may also ask you to rate your pain on a scale of 1 to 10, and you should be able to do so without any hesitation.

You must also be prepared to provide very detailed and specific answers to questions about the nature of your symptoms, and the physical and mental limitations that they impose on you. If your job requires you to carry heavy loads, and you’re unable to do that because of your condition, be prepared to explain this to the judge at the disability hearing.

Before you arrive at the disability hearing, think of all of your symptoms, and the way they restrict your ability to walk, sit, stand, and perform other tasks. Make a mental listing of these. If your condition has mental restrictions that make it difficult for you to concentrate for long periods of time, or impose other restrictions on your ability to work, be prepared to explain this to the judge as well.

It may help to write down your feelings, restrictions, and other thoughts about your symptoms in a daily journal. These will help you provide examples of the kind of restrictions your condition places on you.