The People's Blog by Betz and Baril


What should I not tell the ALJ in my SSDI hearing?

Posted by Jason Baril | May 01, 2021 | 0 Comments

What responses hurt a SSDI Claimant in front of the ALJ?

  • Afraid of medical bills- If your finances are more important than your physical and mental treatment then you can work. What good would all the money in the world do for anyone who was dead because they decided not to go to the doctor to save money? This is a terrible excuse. Please do not tell the ALJ in your SSDI case (you are the Claimant) that you were scared to run up a tab while you were hurting so bad. It just sounds absurd.
  • I could control my mental status by myself so I do not need to get treatment- Claimants with a Social Security Disability case that is based or has a mental component to it do not say you self controlled it. This is absurd again. In fact, if this is your answer focus on the physical problems you have and drop the nonsense on the "mental condition." But my case is all mental? Ok and you have not treated for this disabling condition yet? No, I have not. 

But my case is all mental? Ok and you have not treated for this disabling condition yet? No, I have not. But judge I have the nerves so bad.

Withdraw your case, go treat then refile but if you choose to ignore this advice, you better pray as hard as you can that some how Social Security mixes up your file with someone else's file.

Why?  Because it the only way you are ever going to win this case.

  • I only need medication updates I do not need any diagnostics or treatment- Most Claimant's conditions tend to get worse over time and medications need to be adjusted for various reasons. This answer tells me that you are either getting medication for the recreational benefits and/or your conditions are not as bad as you are alleging. Reasonable people go to the doctor and treat with disabling conditions and those that do not are generally disabled. Your health should be the number 1 issue in your life if you are alleging you can not work.
  • I do not have a ride to get to the doctor-  I did not seek treatment because I have no car. Claimant, Mr. Dumas if your conditions were as bad as you are alleging than you would have called the ambulance. Not having a car to get medical treatment is nothing more than an excuse because a reasonable person would have could the ambulance if it was that bad.
  • I can not do anything, my mental status has made me a procrastinator-  When Claimant, Mr. Dumas tells the judge this what he is saying is I can deal with my health problems and they are not that big of an issue unless I have to work. 
  • I do nothing, I can't even get out bed- Nobody does nothing. Do you eat? do you go to the bathroom? Do you do anything around the house? Everyone see it, answering you do nothing is everything if you want to receive an unfavorable decision on a close case.
  • I can not do anything myself and I can not find anyone to help me- If you can not do anything yourself and no one helps you do anything then you would die. So you are de-facto living life. It is impossible to live Mr. Dumas by doing nothing. No one does nothing. Please stop and think for a minute what you are saying.
  • I see you have a cane with you today did your doctor prescribe that? No, judge he did not prescribe it but that pain has gotten really bad. How long have you had the cane for? Judge it got so bad yesterday that I went out and bought it myself. True story.
  • If you use the cane your doctor prescribes everyday, why did you not bring it today? I did not think I could bring it to the hearing because you know since 9-11 I was afraid the security guards would think I was bringing a weapon to my hearing. This is a ridiculous and just stop and think for 15 seconds what you are trying to sell someone that hears a bunch of ridiculousness everyday. Yes, that is right this answer is a jumping the shark, type answer. 

If you have applied for Social Security Disability (SSDI) and have not engaged legal counsel yet call Betz & Baril  and we will fight to relentlessly get you all the benefits you deserve.

About the Author

Jason Baril

Jason has spent his entire career fight for those who need help and often times do not get the help they need. In addition to Immigration Law, Jason has worked on Criminal, Social Security Disability and Personal Injury cases which gives him diverse experience on many legal issues. 


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