Do I Have To Talk At My Social Security Disability Hearing?

Aug 22, 2011 Comments Off on Do I Have To Talk At My Social Security Disability Hearing? by

Question: Do I have to talk at my Social Security disability hearing?

Answer: Yes. If it’s your hearing, you’re the star witness. The attorney mostly asks questions but the questions are designed to get your story across to the judge. If the attorney and client are in synch, the client tells his or her story smoothly and easily without it being obvious that the story is largely being structured by the questions that are being asked. Of course, it matters whether the story is compelling or not to begin with. My questioning of you can only reveal the story that is there. It can’t make up a story. If it’s not there, it’s not there.

I get this question fairly frequently. It always surprises me. My client with a Social Security disability claim is the one who is sick. My client is the one who can testify based upon his or her personal experiences with illness, the one who can talk about pain or weakness or psychiatric distress. My clients do most of the talking at a Social Security disability hearing.

Don’t let this scare you off of asking for or attending a Social Security disability hearing. It’s far less scarey than you think. Generally, after a hearing my client seems relieved and feels that they should not have worried so much. The event looms larger in the imagination than the actual event does in the memories of those who have Social Security hearings.

The hearing is not some ordeal. It’s definitely not a math test. If you don’t remember an answer, just say you don’t remember. If you don’t know, just say you don’t know. The questions will almost certainly be straight forward. You know how you feel far better than anyone.

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About the author

Charles Hall is the lead attorney for the Charles Hall Law Firm in Raleigh, NC. He has been practicing in the Social Security Disability law field since 1979, is published, and is ready to help new clients win their benefits in North Carolina.