Avoid These 5 Mistakes at Your Social Security Disability (SSD) Hearing
If your Social Security disability claim was denied, you have a right to request an SSD hearing. During the hearing, you have the opportunity to convince an Administrative Law Judge (ALJ) that you deserve SSD benefits.
For most people, the idea of presenting their case at an SSD hearing can be stressful. In fact, many claimants tend to make mistakes that hurt their SSD cases simply because they know no better.
5 Mistakes to Avoid at Your SSD Hearing
We have outlined five mistakes to avoid during your Social Security disability hearing to ensure that your injury is not called into question, and the ALJ does not dismiss your claim.
- Overexaggerating Your Injury or Illness
You should not be overselling your SSD case in an attempt to convince an ALJ to approve your application. Avoid inflating your symptoms or in any way being dishonest.
Unless it is true, describing your situation as being completely immobile and with no means to earn a living could hurt your case. Honesty is the best policy when it comes to presenting your case at an SSD hearing.
A person does not necessarily have to be bedridden or immobile to receive disability benefits. In order to receive SSD benefits, you have to be unable to perform the duties of your job due to a physical or mental condition, personal injury, or illness.
- Disclosing Unsolicited Information
Although we have mentioned that “honesty is the best policy,” that does not mean that you should overshare or provide too much information. When given the opportunity to speak in front of an ALJ, many people tend to disclose unsolicited details that could do more harm than good.
Although we are not saying that you should be lying, sharing unsolicited information could damage your SSD claim. Such information includes:
- Prior rejected claims
- Prior criminal history
- Family members receiving SSD benefits
- Drug or alcohol addiction or illness
- Showing Disregard for Court
Disregarding courtroom courtesy is the third mistake to avoid during your SSD hearing. To improve your odds of having your SSD claim approved, do the following:
- Show respect to all parties present;
- Do not interrupt the ALJ;
- Arrive early;
- Dress appropriately; and
- Listen to the ALJ.
- Failure to Comply with Doctor’s Orders
Your inability to show that you have complied with your doctor’s instructions could derail your SSD case. Failure to comply with doctor’s orders includes:
- Not taking prescribed medications
- Failure to appear at medical appointments
- Not using assistive devices
- Disregarding your doctor’s recommendations
Not following your doctor’s instructions could make the ALJ think that you do not take your condition seriously or that your injury/illness is not as severe as you claim.
- Representing Yourself
Last but not least, not having legal counsel by your side could hurt your SSD case. Regardless of how solid and convincing you think your SSD claim may be, you need to hire a Tampa Social Security disability lawyer to prepare and present your case in the most professional and persuading manner.
Do not take your chances because the consequences of having your SSD claim denied can be very unpleasant. Talk to our team of SSD attorneys at Kobal Law. Discuss your case by calling us at 813-873-2440.