Part 2 of 3.
How to Prepare for your Social Security Disability Hearing – what you should know.
Sixth: Typical Day
Be prepared to talk about your typical day. Not a day where you are feeling your best, or your worst, but, a typical day that you experience. Many Judges will ask you to walk them through your day from the moment you wake up and go through a 24-hour period.
(I.e., I wake up at 8:00 AM and go to the bathroom, I take my medications, make some coffee and a simple breakfast. I then need to lay down for about 30-60 mins due to side effects of medications. I will then get up and go watch TV for about 2 hours. I will then make a simple lunch, like a sandwhich, and then go lie down for about 30-60 mins. I will then get up and take a shower and try to do one house hold chore like light cleaning. I can usually clean for about 15 minutes and then I need to rest. I will watch TV for another 2-3 hours and then I will sleep for 1-2 hours.).
Seventh: Residual Functional Capacity
It is important to be prepared to answer questions regarding your functional capacity. In SSA we call this your physical residual functional capacity. This is a fancy way of saying, how long can you sit, stand, walk and how much weight can you lift.
Your answer to these questions is extremely important. The answers to your questions will place you into one of six categories.
- Less than sedentary
- Sedentary work
- Light work
- Medium work
- Heavy work
- Very heavy work
Note: An experienced attorney will help walk you through on how to best answer these questions.
Eighth: Understand your audience
The notice of hearing will be signed by the Administrative Law Judge who will be personally handling your case. You should google the name of your Judge (ie., SSA Judge ). The Judges dispositional data is made public and can be found on several different website including SSA’s. https://www.ssa.gov/appeals/DataSets/03_ALJ_Disposition_Data.html
The data will show you how many cases the Judge has done in any given year, how many cases the Judge awards, denies, grants fully favorable and/or partially favorable decisions. This data can give you some insight into how any particular Administrative Law Judge looks at a case. If a Judge only awards 8% of the cases that come before him/her, you can bet that your case is in uphill battle. If a Judge awards 75% of the cases that come in front of him/her than your case is going in front of a more favorable Judge.
Note: An experienced attorney should be able tell you much more than just the dispositional data of your Judge. In many cases, attorneys are in front of the same Judge day in and day out. An experienced attorney can tell you how the Judge run’s his/her hearing room, the personality of the Judge and what kind of question’s that judge will typically ask.