Many claimants are concerned with what they need to do in preparation for their SSDI or SSI hearing. Everybody is different, but it seems to me that the best thing a claimant can do is prepare for the types of questions you will be asked. If you have a social security disability attorney and you do exactly what he or she tells you to do, then you will be more than prepared for your SSDI or SSI hearing.
This post is designed to give you an idea of the types of questions and issues that may arise at your hearing. While every hearing is different depending on the disability in question, you can be assured that many of the questions you read here may come up at your hearing.
Many of the types of questions that will be presented revolve around the sequential evaluation process, see prior; posts August 24th - September 1st. The majority of the questions will focus on your background, medical history, education, age, and your work experience, with an emphasis on your past work experiences and your medical history.
With that said, what should you do? Well for starters you should have a list of the jobs you have done in the past 15 years. You should be able to describe the types of things you did, the names of employers, what made you stop working, length of employment etc. The more information you have concerning your past work experiences the more prepared you will be for your SSDI or SSI hearing.
You should also be able to describe with a certain degree of precision your past medical history. It is best if you keep a log of when you have visited doctors and the purpose of your appointments, prescriptions you have taken in the past and are currently taking, and anything you feel would be relevant to show the ALJ that would help your claim. While the ALJ will have the information they need prior to the hearing, the more you know and the more comfortable your are with your medical history the less likely you will get confused with questions posed by the ALJ.
It is also a good idea to start keeping track of the day-to-day things that have bothered you in relation to your disability. You should describe pain that you have experienced, fatigue, shortness of breath, and any information you feel that would better prepare you to describe why it is you are no longer able to work. You may also want to be comfortable with describing how your disability affects the things you do daily. Walking, sitting, standing etc.
The best thing you can do is be able to answer the million dollar question. Notwithstanding your disability why are you unable to continue working? If you do have a social security disability attorney handling your case, then your job is much easier than those without counsel. Your disability attorney will get information from you and arrange it in the most persuasive way possible to achieve a desirable result.
This is just the tip of the iceberg. Having an experienced, qualified social security disability lawyer on your side will make this process much easier on you. However if you do decide to tackle this on your own, just use your common sense. If you were the ALJ what would you want to know about your case that answers that question above.