What Happens At A Disability Hearing In Houston?

Your first encounter with a disability hearing may be intimidating. It can be awkward discussing your life with complete strangers who are deciding whether or not you are qualified to receive a disability.

If this is your first time dealing with Social Security in person, understand that it’s not the same as appearing in court. Although the hearing is important, it’s an informal hearing, and usually doesn’t last longer than an hour. The hearings are not open to the public as a court case is, and anyone with you (other than your attorney) is required to wait outside.

What Happens At A Disability Hearing In Houston?

This hearing is to determine the extent of your disability, and if your disability prevents you from working. The judge will ask questions to get a better idea of your condition. It’s important to answer the questions honestly and thoroughly, but don’t exaggerate or lie about anything.

What Questions Will They Ask?

Because the hearing revolves around what you can and can’t do, and why you can’t work, expect the questions to be focused on those points. You’ll likely be asked questions such as:

  • Are you working currently?
  • Why can’t you work?
  • What was your last job, and what were your responsibilities?
  • Have you tried working since you became disabled?
  • What type of formal education do you have?
  • Do you have any vocational training?
  • Where else have you worked in the last 15 years? What were those job responsibilities?
  • Do you have any problems getting along with coworkers, supervisors, customers or clients?
  • How much can you lift at one time?
  • How long can you walk, sit, or sit before you require a break?
  • How often do you need to take a break?
  • Do you have difficulties with concentration or remembering anything?
  • What effect does your disability have on your daily activities?
  • What activities do you do?
  • How does your disability affect your ability to take care of yourself?
  • What have you been diagnosed with?
  • What medical treatments have you had?
  • Are there any side effects to these treatments?

These are just some of the types of questions you may be asked. Of course, it’s important to be ready for any of these questions as well as others.

Being Prepared For The Disability Hearing

The time leading up to the hearing can be downright nerve-wracking, leading to rambling and over-answering a question—or saying something you shouldn’t. Avoid this possibility with some pre-hearing research and rehearsal.

Spend some time reviewing:

  • Your case file
  • Medical and Job Worksheet (Form SSA-3381), filled out before your application for disability
  • Your most recent medical records
  • Statements and expert medical opinions from family members, friends, coworkers and supervisors, as well as your doctor or any doctor you’ve seen regarding your condition (such as a neurologist or orthopedic surgeon.) These statements should describe your disability and how it affects you daily.

You’ll also need to provide copies of your medical records and medical opinions to the judge prior to the hearing. Keep copies for yourself as well.

Make notes using the above questions, as well as any your disability attorney might mention before the hearing. And of course, take these documents and notes along with you to the hearing.

Houston’s Disability Attorney

A disability hearing can be daunting, but it doesn’t have to be. Having an experienced disability lawyer can make the hearing—and the process—easier for you. If you are unfamiliar with the system and don’t get help, a judge can make decisions based on their own opinion, leaving you with no options for challenging them.

Let The Herren Law Firm in Houston, TX assist with your application, appeals, and records gathering to prove your case, and help win your claim. Contact us today at 713-682-8194 (or use our online contact form) to schedule your free consultation. There’s no obligation and no up-front fees, and we only collect a fee if we win your case.



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