If you have received a denial of your application for Social Security Disability Insurance, you should not panic. After all, more than half of first-time applicants receive denials. Remember, if you have the requisite number of work credits and have a qualifying disability, you are probably eligible for SSDI benefits.
Often, individuals who cannot work due to a physical or mental impairment must secure SSDI benefits before an administrative law judge. Fortunately, this judge is not likely to ask you trick questions, but you may face some tough ones from government attorneys.
The judge’s questions
The judge has an obligation to determine whether you qualify for SSDI benefits, but his or her job is not to keep you from obtaining the benefits you deserve. Nevertheless, it does not hurt to think about the questions an ALJ may ask. These are likely to fall into just four categories:
- Your work history and job duties
- Your disability
- Your ability to work in the next year
When you prepare your application for SSDI benefits, you have the opportunity to think about each question and to provide evidence to support your claim. Reviewing this information before your administrative hearing may improve your testimony.
The Social Security Administration’s attorney’s questions
The government’s attorney may also ask you some questions during your hearing. You should not be afraid to answer each question honestly and completely. While the SSA’s attorney is looking out for its interests, you usually cannot go wrong by explaining your disability to the best of your abilities. Still, if you do not understand a question, you can ask the judge or SSA attorney to clarify.
Your ALJ hearing may only be one step on your path toward receiving SSDI benefits. Ultimately, by preparing fully for the hearing and answering each question earnestly, you may boost your chances of securing benefits.