10 things that not to do at your Social Security Hearing

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WHAT NOT TO DO AT YOUR SOCIAL SECURITY HEARING

  1. Exaggerate. When the judge asks what your normal day consists of do not say nothing. No one does nothing and if you do then you are most likely dead. Just be honest about your conditions it will make the longitudinal evidence way more compelling.
  2. Do not bring props. Props are medical devices that are not prescribed such as a cane or a wheelchair. This is so disingenuous and judges can see right through this kind of crap. 
  3. Arguing your case. When testifying at your hearing, you simply need to relay the facts, give estimates of your limitations, detail your symptoms and describe your daily activities while using examples to illustrate your medical problems. Your disability attorney will argue your case on your behalf.
  4. Do not draw conclusions for the judge. Allow the judge to come to his/her own conclusions. Do not say things like, “I want to work” or “If I could work, I would.” By saying such statements, a judge may get the picture that you could possibly work. The point is that there are some people with extreme disabilities who do work but this is not the point that you should be making at your hearing.
  5. Resist comparing yourself to other people. Refrain from saying things like: “I know people who get benefits and they're less disabled than me”. Comparisons of this type will not benefit your case and will most likely annoy your judge.
  6. Go Pro Bono- The average disability case is worth 250,000 dollars in lifetime benefits and the average attorney fee is about 3000 dollars. Do not be penny wise and pound foolish. If you do not hire Betz and Baril hire another attorney that does these matters for a living.
  7. Do not try to evoke sympathy from the judge. Not only will it not help, it may backfire. There is nothing new that the judge has not already heard. Information on your financial situation or the eminent foreclosure on your home, as examples, is not relevant.
  8. Interrupt the Vocational Expert (VE). Generally the first hypotheticals are the least restrictive and just because the VE finds jobs that does not mean that will be the case in your circumstance.
  9. Show up for trial without a complete record. If all the medical records are not in this is generally a problem from Claimants.
  10. No treating Source Statement- If you do not have a treating source statement or a complete record the odds of winning your hearing are in the teens. Hire an attorney they will make sure everything is in proper order so that you can get the benefits you deserve. 

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