Preparing for Testimony at a Disability Hearing

Before your disability hearing, you will likely discuss what you can expect at your disability hearing. For each topic, you should be able to anticipate possible questions and things that you will need to explain.

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Employment History

Your Social Security disability can explain that you must be able to describe the duties that you had for each job that you held within the last 15 years beginning with the most recent job that you had. The judge may ask you specific questions about your previous jobs, such as the amount of weight that you had to carry at each job and how much time out of each day that you had to stand, sit, bend and walk. If you had any physical or mental difficulties with completing previous jobs, you should communicate this information to the administrative law judge. You may also have to explain your reason for leaving each job that you had.

You must be able to inform the Social Security disability lawyer and the judge why you are unable to perform the jobs that you completed. If you have difficulty articulating this information, discuss it with your lawyer for a more objective assessment.


The administrative law judge may ask you about your skill set. This may include whether you completed any skilled or semi-skilled work. Although you want to describe your skills in an accurate manner, there is no need for you to puff this information or accentuate them like you would potentially do in a job interview. The administrative law judge will be specifically interested in knowing how long it would take another worker to learn how to do a particular job.


Also, be prepared to discuss your education. You will likely be asked what the highest grade that you completed was. Additionally, you may be asked about military service or vocational training.

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