- Prepare, Prepare, Prepare: Make sure you have submitted all of medical records to Social Security at least 5 business days in advance of your hearing.
- Have your treating doctor complete a statement regarding your physical and/or mental abilities – this is often called a Residual Functional Capacity Assessment
- Be ready to explain to the judge in a concise manner what medical condition(s) prevent you from doing any work.
- Practice explaining to someone who doesn’t know you exactly what your daily routine is like. What daily tasks do you need help with?
- Have a list of your medications with you if there are too many to remember.
- Be able to tell the judge if any of your medications cause side effects that contribute to your disability
- If you have durable medical equipment that you need to function such as braces, a cane, walker bring it with you to the hearing.
- Hire an attorney who specializes in Social Security Disability appeals. If you don’t have an attorney you can have one support person bring you.
- Be polite and honest with the judge. Wear comfortable, appropriate clothing. Call the judge “your honor”.
- Relax! Judges are real people too. If you can’t hear or didn’t understand a question at the hearing, politely ask the judge to repeat herself.