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Questions To Expect When Attending An SSDI Disability Hearing


Because so many claims for benefits under Social Security Disability Insurance (SSDI) are rejected at the initial application stage, there is a good chance that you will need to take the next steps through additional reviews. You might be successful through reconsideration, but it is more likely that you will proceed to a disability hearing before the Social Security Administration (SSA). An administrative law judge (ALJ) will preside over the proceeding, and you will be required to testify and present documentation to support your position. The notion of testifying can be intimidating for many people, especially knowing that your disability benefits hinge on the ALJ’s findings.

When you retain a Maryland Social Security disability lawyer, there is no need to feel overwhelmed when attending your disability hearing. However, knowing what to expect can make you feel at ease during the process. The ALJ’s questions will generally fall into two categories that go straight to the eligibility issue.

  1. Your Employment History and Background 

To start, you will be asked to state your personal details and basic identification information. Then, the ALJ will delve into employment issues by asking such questions as:

  • What is your formal education and vocational training? Here, the ALJ is trying to determine if you have a background that could render you employable in another occupation.
  • What are your current job tasks? You will need to describe a typical day at work, so be specific as far as projects and your on-the-job routine before becoming disabled.
  • How does your medical condition impact your ability to perform job tasks? The point with this question is determining how your disability results in physical, mental, or other limitations. 
  1. Medical Condition and Limitations: Your initial application may have included numerous medical records regarding your disability, and your attorney will provide the ALJ with any additional documentation regarding medical care you received afterwards. You will not be required to answer any questions of a technical nature, as that would be the job of medical experts. Instead, the ALJ questions to you might include:
  • What are the physical implications of your disability? You might be asked about how long you can sit or stand, whether you can lift or carry heavy objects, and if you can bend or stoop. If your condition prevents these physical activities, you may be approved for disability – unless your employment information allows you to work in another position.
  • How does your disability affect your personal life? The ALJ may ask about the ways your medical condition limits you in terms of your daily routine, such as driving, cleaning, shopping, and caring for your personal hygiene. Your capabilities in these areas may carry over to employment.

Your Maryland SSDI Attorney Will Handle the Details 

Knowing the questions an ALJ will ask should alleviate any hesitation about going through your disability hearing, but you also gain an edge when you have an experienced lawyer to advocate on your behalf. To set up a no-cost consultation with a member of our team, please contact the Maryland Law Offices of Steinhardt, Siskind and Lieberman, LLC.


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