Monthly Archives

February 2014

The hearing

By Your disability hearing

The Social Security Disability Hearing

A Social Security disability hearing is held in front of an administrative law judge (ALJ). It is much less formal than a court hearing, and is non-adversarial. That is, there is no lawyer representing the Social Security Administration who appears to present SSA’s side. Indeed, SSA claims that it doesn’t have a “side.” The agency views its role as providing benefits to those claimants who are disabled and denying benefits to those who are not. It is the ALJ’s job, as a neutral fact-finder working for a neutral agency, to inquire fully into the disability issues and find the claimant disabled if the claimant meets the requirements for disability set forth in the Social Security Act.

For the most part, ALJs fulfill the neutral fact-finder role, granting disability benefits to about 60 percent of all claimants who appeal to the hearing level. There are, of course, individual differences among ALJs. While all ALJs view themselves as neutral fact-finders, some are harder to convince than others. Some have low approval rates, while others are quite generous.

When preparing a case for any ALJ, your attorney will gather and submit medical records, medical opinions and other documentary evidence before the hearing (and after the hearing, if necessary), present witnesses’ testimony at the hearing and examine witnesses called by the ALJ (cross-examining them, if necessary), and present the your case in its best light to show that you are disabled under the law. It is part of your attorney’s job to avoid treating the ALJ as an adversary, even when your lawyer is arguing that the ALJ is wrong about the law or facts. In fact, opportunities to present an argument to an ALJ arise more often with the very good judges, the ones who will tell you when they have a problem with a particular aspect of your case. They tell your attorney this in order to give your attorney the opportunity to argue for your position. Even with judges who are more difficult to convince, it does not help for your attorney to treat a judge as an adversary.

You may appear in person before the ALJ or by video teleconferencing, though you are not required to appear by video if you do not want to. At a hearing before an ALJ, evidence may be received even though it would not be admissible in court under the rules of evidence used by courts. Strict deadlines for submitting evidence generally do not apply, though more deadlines are coming to this area of practice. Even so, if your attorney is having trouble getting particular evidence, he or she can ask the ALJ to issue a subpoena for the evidence or ask for additional time to obtain it and submit it after the hearing, if necessary.

Vocational experts (VEs) or medical experts (MEs) may testify, appearing in person, by video teleconferencing, or sometimes by telephone. VEs testify in nearly 60 percent of all hearings. MEs testify in somewhat fewer than 20 percent. Such experts are supposed to be neutral, too, unlike, for example, experts in worker’s compensation or personal injury cases, where everyone expects the experts to take sides. Of course, when a medical expert appears who is used to testifying for insurance companies in worker’s compensation cases, you are not likely to get much help on the case from the ME. Although an ME’s testimony alone can win a case for you (by demonstrating that your impairments meet or equal an impairment found in SSA’s Listing of Impairments), it is less likely that an ME’s testimony will be the sole reason you lose.

On the other hand, a vocational expert’s testimony can be the sole reason you lose a disability case. Although VEs also view themselves as neutral, neutrality is not the issue. VEs have been given a nearly impossible role by SSA, one that is at the very edge of their expertise. A vocational expert’s real expertise usually involves job placement for people with physical or mental limitations. VEs’ jobs often include encouraging employers to accommodate disabilities, which SSA says is not relevant to the disability determination process because SSA is concerned with how jobs are ordinarily performed in the economy, not with whether an employer might be willing to alter job duties to accommodate a limitation. SSA expects a VE to be familiar with the Dictionary of Occupational Titles, which most VEs have stopped using in their regular jobs because it is outdated. And SSA expects a VE to be able to tell an ALJ how many jobs exist in the economy for people with certain limitations, which is not something they do in their regular jobs and which requires a lot of guess work.

Most VEs view their role as giving the ALJ options — that is, they provide a basis for a denial decision and a basis for a favorable decision. VEs say they help ALJs find the line between who is disabled and who is not. However, it is a rare VE who will challenge an ALJ’s preconceived notion about a case.

If the VE draws the line correctly between those who are disabled and those who are not, your attorney’s job is to make sure you are on the disabled side of the line. This is not something done by cross-examining a VE. This is done by your attorney presenting convincing evidence about your residual functional capacity. If the ALJ does not include enough limitations in hypothetical questions to the VE, your attorney’s job is to ask additional questions that include all your limitations so that the line can be drawn between the disabled and not disabled. If the VE draws the line incorrectly, your attorney must deal with that VE testimony (through cross examination or obtaining a rebuttal VE opinion) in order to redraw the line.

Sometimes at the conclusion of a hearing, an ALJ will issue an oral bench decision setting forth findings of fact and conclusions of law establishing that you are disabled. Then, within a few days, you will receive a short summary of the decision, which is the official favorable decision from which benefits are paid.

Otherwise, after the hearing, a full written decision will be issued by the administrative law judge. Although ALJs have no time limits for issuing decisions, because of the backlog at hearing offices, ALJs are under pressure from SSA to issue decisions expeditiously. Most ALJs do so, though a few do not.

When an ALJ does not issue a bench decision at the hearing, the ALJ usually will not tell your attorney whether you won or lost. Sometimes, though, it is obvious — such as when an ALJ stops a hearing without taking testimony from a vocational expert after a medical expert testifies that your impairment meets or equals an impairment found in the Listing of Impairments.

Social Security Hearing Procedure

The Social Security regulations do not describe hearing procedure in much detail. They provide that “[a]t the hearing, the administrative law judge looks fully into the issues, questions [the claimant] and the other witnesses, and accepts as evidence any documents that are material to the issues.”

The ALJ “may receive evidence at the hearing even though the evidence would not be admissible in court under the rules of evidence used by the court.”

Witnesses will testify under oath and the ALJ will allow parties to question witnesses. The ALJ may decide when the evidence will be presented and when the issues will be discussed.

Each ALJ conducts a hearing somewhat differently from every other ALJ. An individual ALJ may use different procedures when conducting a hearing involving an unrepresented claimant than those used in a hearing when an experienced attorney is representing the claimant. For example, the length and content of opening statements by ALJs vary greatly, as does the degree to which an ALJ questions the claimant, and whether the ALJ questions the claimant before or after the claimant’s attorney asks questions. Some ALJs ask witnesses to remain in the waiting room while the claimant testifies; others do not.

There are, however, broad similarities in the way disability hearings are conducted around the country because, to one degree or another, individual ALJs follow procedures set forth in the Social Security Administration manual called HALLEX.

ALJ’s Opening Statement

In a typical hearing, the administrative law judge will open the record, state who is present and note that your attorney is representing you. The ALJ may ask your attorney or you to verify that fact on the record. Most ALJs will make some effort at the beginning of the hearing to put you at ease.

The following may be part of an opening statement by the ALJ:

1. A statement of the de novo nature of the hearing and that the ALJ is not part of the office that previously denied the claim.

2. An explanation that a recording of the proceeding is being made and that the official record of the case will consist of oral testimony and documents admitted into evidence of record.

3. A description of the manner in which the hearing will be conducted including:

a. one person will testify at a time;
b. witnesses will be examined under oath and may be cross-examined;
c. the strict rules of evidence used in court will not be applied;
d. a reasonable time will be allowed to present oral argument or to file briefs about the facts and law material to the case.

4. A procedural history of the claim.

5. A statement of the issues.

6. A brief description of the documents that are proposed as exhibits, an inquiry whether there are any objections to those exhibits, and admission of exhibits after ruling on objections.

Some ALJs ask if your attorney will waive reading of the procedural history and statement of the issues. Unless there is some unusual issue in the case, attorneys always agree to waive it.

Video Hearings

Other than some SSA bureaucrats who claim that they are “efficient,” no one likes video hearings. Not the ALJs, not the experts, not the attorneys, least of all the claimants. Claimants generally like the opportunity to tell their stories to ALJs in person, but claimants generally do not find the same satisfaction with video hearings.

To overcome this resistance, SSA tries to encourage claimants to accept video hearings by sending a brochure that explains the advantages of having a video hearing. It is a short brochure, and it tells you, “Except for the equipment, a video hearing is no different than a hearing at which you appear in person.”

The trouble with this statement is that the video equipment fundamentally changes the nature of the interaction between the claimant and the ALJ. Instead of being in person, immediate and three dimensional, the hearing is remote and two dimensional. The single advantage of a video hearing is that the claimant may get the hearing sooner.

One of the Social Security regulations provides that if you object to appearing by video then the ALJ will find your wish not to appear by video teleconferencing to be a good reason for changing the time or place of hearing and will reschedule the hearing for a time and place at which you may make your appearance in person. Thus, you have veto power over your own appearance by video.

However, the same is not true for appearance by an expert. While your “wish” not to appear by video constitutes good cause for appearing in person, the regulation provides no such good cause when a claimant doesn’t want an expert to appear by video. Furthermore, the regulation contains no example of what would constitute good cause for having an expert witness appear in person rather than by video. Thus, it looks like an ALJ will grant a request that an expert appear in person only in rare circumstances.

In a typical video hearing where the ALJ is in one location and the claimant is in another, sometimes an ALJ will use an expert who is in the same location as the ALJ. Other times the expert will be in the same location as the claimant. There are hearings in which only the expert appears by video. There have also been hearings in which only the claimant’s attorney appears by video. Who is allowed to appear by video is left to the discretion of the ALJ.

If a good ALJ is assigned to your case for a video hearing, requesting that you appear in person before the ALJ runs the risk that your case will be reassigned to a different ALJ.

Whether or not requesting an in-person hearing might cause the case to be reassigned to a different ALJ, it will certainly cause a significant delay in scheduling the hearing.

Video hearings also present logistical problems for your lawyer in getting a copy of the entire paper hearing exhibit file early enough for your lawyer to obtain and submit new evidence and develop the issues in time for the scheduled hearing.

Additional problems arise on the day of the hearing because the hearing exhibit file is with the ALJ. Your lawyer will have no opportunity to review hearing exhibits just before the hearing. Since last minute review of a paper hearing exhibit file is impossible with a video hearing your attorney may ask that an updated exhibit list and any new exhibits submitted by SSA since the time he copied the file be faxed a day or so before the hearing.

Know that the ALJ may very well be able to hear everything being said in the hearing room where you are. Do not say anything in the hearing room before the hearing starts or after the hearing ends.

Persons Present in the Hearing Room

A Social Security disability hearing is private. The people present will be the ALJ, the judge’s assistant (usually a part-time outside contractor) who runs the tape recorder, the claimant, claimant’s attorney and any witnesses. Observers may be present only with the permission of the claimant and the ALJ.

Many ALJs allow witnesses to remain in the hearing room during the claimant’s testimony. Some ALJs have all witnesses come into the hearing room and then ask them to leave immediately after completing opening statements and procedural matters. Other ALJs ask witnesses to remain in the waiting area until it is time for their testimony. ALJs who follow the practice of excluding witnesses, sometimes referred to as sequestering witnesses, claim that witnesses who do not hear other testimony may be more credible.

Sometimes a claimant requests that a witness not be present when the claimant is testifying. ALJs have no difficulty accommodating such a request.

In mental impairment cases, the claimant should not be in the hearing room when the claimant’s family and friends are testifying. Claimants with mental impairments can become upset with the sort of testimony their lawyer must elicit in such a case. Witnesses also seem to give better testimony when the claimant is not present because they tend to be more relaxed and candid than when they are worrying about how the claimant is going to take each remark.

Hearing impairments

By Applying for disability benefits when you have:

Can I Get Social Security Disability Benefits for a Hearing Impairment?

  • How Does the Social Security Administration Decide if I Qualify for Disability Benefits for a Hearing Impairment?
  • About Hearing Impairments and Disability
  • Winning Social Security Disability Benefits for a Hearing Impairment by Meeting a Listing
  • Residual Functional Capacity Assessment for Hearing Impairments
  • Getting Your Doctor’s Medical Opinion About What You Can Still Do

How Does the Social Security Administration Decide if I Quality for Disability Benefits for a Hearing Impairment?

If you have a hearing impairment, Social Security disability benefits may be available. To determine whether you are disabled by a hearing impairment, the Social Security Administration first considers whether your hearing impairment is severe enough to meet or equal a listing at Step 3 of the Sequential Evaluation Process. See Winning Social Security Disability Benefits for a Hearing Impairment by Meeting a Listing.

If your hearing impairment is not severe enough to equal or meet a listing, the Social Security Administration must assess your residual functional capacity (RFC) (the work you can still do, despite your hearing impairment), to determine whether you qualify for benefits at Step 4 and Step 5 of the Sequential Evaluation Process. See Residual Functional Capacity Assessment for a Hearing Impairment.

About Hearing Impairments and Disability

The Structure of the Ear

Our hearing apparatus consists of several structures (see Figure 1 below):

  • The external ear is the pinna. This may help deflect sound into the external auditory canal.
  • The next structure is the eardrum. This is a thin and delicate membrane. Vibration of the eardrum by sound puts pressure on a series of three small bones in a space behind the eardrum called the “middle-ear.”
  • The “middle-ear” bones transmit sound vibration from the eardrum to the cochlea in the inner ear.
  • The cochlea is a spiral, fluid-filled bony structure lined with a membrane holding about 15,000 tiny hairs that move when vibrations in the fluid reach them.
  • The different hairs react to different frequencies of sound. This information is coded into the auditory nerve and transmitted to both sides of the brain, though principally to the opposite side.

Structures of the ear

Figure 1: Close-up of structures of the human ear.

Causes of Hearing Loss

Hearing loss can be caused by a variety of different things. Congenital defects anywhere in the hearing apparatus or brain can result in hearing loss. Infections and other diseases account for other cases. Allergies that cause fluid in the middle-ear can also result in hearing loss, if allowed to persist. Other causes of hearing loss are drugs, trauma, immune diseases, cancers, circulatory, genetic and degenerative disorders.

Most hearing loss results from problems with the cochlea or auditory (acoustic) nerve. This is called sensorineural. Hearing loss due to damage to areas of the brain cerebral cortex used in hearing is called central hearing loss. Hearing loss due to damage to the bones of the middle ear is called a conductive hearing loss. Mixed hearing loss means there is a combination of sensorineural and conductive hearing losses.

Usher Syndrome

The most common cause of a combination of deafness and blindness, accounting for about half of the deaf-blind cases in the U.S. is a recessive genetic disorder called Usher syndrome.

There are three types of Usher syndrome:

  • In Usher I, the child is born with profound deafness and severe difficulty in balancing. The ability to walk begins late at about 18 months or even older. Progressive blindness appears by age 10. Of course, these difficulties are carried into adulthood. Since the child is born with profound deafness, hearing aids are of little value.
  • In Usher II, the child has moderate to severe hearing loss at birth and can be benefit with hearing aids. The retinitis pigmentosa starts in the late teens and does not progress as rapidly as in Usher I. Balance in these individuals is normal.
  • In Usher III, the child is born with normal hearing, vision and balance. Hearing loss and blindness are usually significant problems by the time they are teenagers; blindness and deafness are fully in place sometime in adulthood.

Many adults with any type of Usher syndrome will qualify for disability, based on hearing or vision impairment. It is important that the Social Security Administration know the diagnosis in children and teenagers, since progressive severity is to be expected rather than stability or improvement.

Waardenburg Syndrome

Waardenburg syndrome is a genetic disorder resulting in deafness, and one defective gene from either parent is enough to produce the disorder.

There are at least four types of Waardenburg syndrome, with Types 1 and 2 being the most common. In Type 1 Waardenburg syndrome, there is a mutated gene that controls development of part of the face and inner ear. In Type 2 Waardenburg syndrome there is also a mutated gene that is related to development of ear structures and hearing. About 20% of Type 1 and 50% of Type 2 Waardenburg syndromes have hearing deficits to some degree.

An interesting fact about Waardenburg syndrome is that there may be other unusual features. For example, due to possible problems with pigmentation, there can be oddly colored patches of skin or hair (like a white forelock of hair or white patch of skin), and eyes of differing color. A low frontal hairline and eyebrows that grow together are other possible features, or the root of the nose may be widened. Hearing loss may be moderate to profound, and does not correlate with pigmentary or facial peculiarities.

Testing of Hearing

Hearing testing is done by audiometry, and is usually performed by audiologists.

Hearing is tested at several different frequencies. The ones that are important to the Social Security Administration are 500, 1000, 2000, and 3000 Hertz [Hz]. The intensity of sound is measured in decibels (dB), and the decibel level at which a sound of a particular frequency can be heard is the pure tone threshold.

Ability to hear sound of 0–25 dB is normal. Normal conversation takes place in about the 45–60 dB range.

People hear by sounds conducted both through the air and sound conducted through bones in the ear and skull. Audiometry tests both types of hearing. Hearing through air is air conduction and through bone is bone conduction.

Audiometry usually includes a test of how well you can understand words, and is called speech discrimination. Speech discrimination, as determined by speech audiometry, is the percentage of test words correctly identified when spoken from standardized and pre-recorded lists. A normal person will achieve nearly 100% correct identification. This test can be used for adults and older children. However, speech discrimination should not be confused with the speech recognition threshold (SRT), which involves a measure of the lowest decibel intensity at which test words can be heard 50% of the time. SRT is a measure of loudness and does not imply ability to understand speech. Speech discrimination is used to determine how well a patient can understand what he hears. The SRT should reasonably correlate with the pure tone average (PTA) for the 500, 1000, and 2000 Hz frequencies, and can thus serve as a check on the validity of the test. The pure tone average is by standard acceptance the sum of the decibel levels necessary to hear 500, 1000, and 2000 Hz, divided by 3. When the person being tested does not cooperate with the testing procedures, such as in malingering, there will be a substantial discrepancy between the SRT and PTA.

Continue to Winning Social Security Disability Benefits for a Hearing Impairment by Meeting a Listing.

Activities questionnaire

By Disability forms

Social Security Disability Activities Questionnaire

If you think you might have difficulty at your Social Security disability hearing describing how your impairment has changed your life, completing this activities questionnaire a few days before your hearing is likely to be helpful. You can also download and print the full PDF version of the Social Security Disability Activities Questionnaire.

To: ___________________________________

___________________________________

___________________________________

Your disability hearing will be held soon. Please complete this Activities Questionnaire and bring it to the meeting we have scheduled to prepare you to testify.

Read through this form before you fill it out. Spend a few days thinking about the activities listed on the form and the many ways your life has changed because of your health problems. Talk with family members and friends about their observations. Then, in the days before you meet with us, complete the form in as much detail as possible.

For each of the activities listed, describe the way these things are done differently now (or not performed at all) compared to the way they were performed before you became disabled. For each activity, some possibilities are suggested in parentheses; but these are only suggestions to start you thinking. List changes in the way the activities are performed, however small the difference may seem. If you now perform these activities only on “good days,” be sure to say so. State the reasons the activities are now performed differently. Explain. The details help.

Thank you.

1. Driving (no longer drive, drive less often, drive only short distances, difficulty getting into or out of the car, got handicapped parking permit, get lost while driving, use bigger car, accidents, make frequent stops):

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2. Cooking and eating (no longer cook, cook less often, cook simpler meals, cook only for myself, eat out more, skip meals, burn food, no appetite, drop cooking utensils, sit while cooking):

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3. Wash dishes (no longer wash dishes, wash less often, drop dishes, sit while washing dishes, only wash a few dishes at a time, let dirty dishes pile up, bought a dishwasher):

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4. Straighten up house (house more of a mess, others help with cleaning, hired house-cleaner, rest after short periods of cleaning):

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5. Dust:

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6. Vacuum:

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7. Mop floor (use stick mop instead of scrubbing floor while kneeling):

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8. Laundry including washing, drying, ironing, folding (wash clothes less often, get assistance doing or carrying laundry, throw rather than carry laundry down the steps, stay in basement while doing laundry, carry only a few items at a time, take more clothes to cleaner, buy more permanent press clothes):

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9. Clean bathroom:

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10. Make bed:

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11. Yard work including cutting grass, bagging clippings, gardening, raking, etc. (others cut grass, use self-propelled mower, stopped gardening, moved into condo):

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12. Shovel snow:

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13. Fix things:

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14. Grocery shop (do not shop alone, shop when crowds are smaller and lines shorter, rest while shopping, lean on car, smaller bags, use express checkout, delivery by store, buy smaller containers, get dropped off and picked up at store entrance, buy more convenience foods such as TV dinners, sandwiches, microwave foods):

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15. Pay bills / handle finances:

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16. Watch / play with children:

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17. Watch TV / listen to radio (watch more, TV no longer keeps my interest, trouble concentrating on what is going on, shorter attention span, watch more while in bed or on recliner, more frequent breaks, nose makes me nervous):

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18. Read (need to reread sections to understand, do not remember what was read, read for shorter periods of time, read shorter pieces such as magazines instead of novels, stopped reading the newspaper):

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19. Talk with others, including telephone (want to be left alone, initiate conversations less often, talk for shorter periods of time):

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20. Sleep at night (different times to go to bed and get up, trouble falling asleep, restlessness, get out of bed during night, inability to sustain sleep, feel tired when getting up, use sleeping pills, extra pillows under head or legs):

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21. Sleep/rest during day (naps, rest periods, time spent in bed, couch or recliner):

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22. Dress and groom self such as brush teeth, shave, wash, use toilet, comb hair, makeup applications, shower, bathe (groom self less often, need reminders, guardrails in tub, others comb and wash hair, lean against sink while brushing teeth and shaving, shorter showers):

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23. Go to church:

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24. Participate in clubs, organizations, or church activities:

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25. Use public transportation (use bus schedules to reduce waiting time, sit on benches, hold onto rails while climbing steps, sit in front of bus, get ride to bus stop, ride bus when less crowded):

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26. Exercising:

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27. Visit and activities with friends, neighbors, family, relatives (visit less often or for shorter periods, others come to my house, they visit in my bedroom or while I am lying down):

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28. Play cards / games:

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29. Attend sporting events / movies / go out to dinner:

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30. Identify all interests and hobbies you used to enjoy. Why and how you do them differently now or not at all? (For example, fishing, crossword puzzles, hunting, sports, knitting, collecting, rummage sales, musical instruments, woodworking, golfing):

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31. Writing:

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32. Sitting (different chair / sofa, shorter periods, squirm, sit forward or lean to a side, elevate legs, difficulty arising from a chair, difficulties bending head down, using hands in front of myself, or reaching overhead while sitting, difficulty twisting while sitting):

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33. Standing, walking and climbing steps (use cane, lean against walls or furniture, stumble into things, fall or almost fall):

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34. Lift and carry (smaller items, hold against body):

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35. Use arms / hands / fingers (drop things, can’t make fist, trembling or shaking, trouble picking up small items off the table, using hand tools, and opening containers, jars and doors, cannot reach into cupboards, write for short periods only, use slip-on instead of tie shoes, difficulty buttoning clothes):

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36. “I can’t seem to get anything done on time.” (If this is true for you, explain why and give examples):

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37. Leaving the home (less frequent walks, not leaving home alone):

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38. Care for pets:

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Other comments:

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Continue to the full PDF version of the Social Security Disability Activities Questionnaire.

Should I apply for disability?

By Frequently Asked Questions

Should I apply for disability?

Should I apply for disability?

If your answers match the ones below, the Social Security Administration (SSA) is likely to award you benefits.

  • Are you gainfully employed? No
  • Do you have a severe impairment? Yes
  • Will your impairment last 12 months or result in death? Yes
  • Does your disability meet one of SSA’s listed impairments? If yes, you qualify. If no …
  • Are you able to work? No

How long do disability appeals take?

When should I apply for disability benefits?

Unless you have an obvious long-term disability, the best time to apply for Social Security disability benefits is 6-9 months after you stop working.

What does a disability lawyer do?

The big-picture answer is: analyze what needs to be proven to win benefits, figure out how to prove it, and gather the necessary evidence. Some of the specific tasks are:

  • Obtain reports from treating doctors that are consistent with Social Security regulations
  • Refer claimants to specialists for additional reports that answer questions raised by Social Security regulations
  • Obtain a vocational expert’s evaluation of the claimant’s ability to work
  • Ask that a prior application for benefits be reopened
  • Seek a waiver of a time limit
  • Request subpoenas to insure the presence of crucial witnesses or documents
  • Advise the claimant on how best to prepare for and testify at the hearing
  • Object to improper evidence or procedures at the hearing
  • Cross-examine adverse witnesses
  • Present a closing statement
  • Submit a written summary of the evidence and argument
  • If the claimant wins, make sure the SSA correctly calculates benefits
  • If the claimant loses, request review of the hearing decision by the Appeals Council

How long will I wait for a disability hearing?

It can take up to two years from request until a hearing is held and a decision issued, but the time varies from state to state.

What are hearings like?

They are private, held in a small conference room, and last an hour or so. You will be asked about your education, training, work experience, symptoms, limitations, and daily activities.

What if I don’t file my disability appeal on time?

If you have not filed your appeal within 65 days of the date on your denial letter, you have to start over with a new claim. That new claim may result in the loss of back benefits.

What is the biggest mistake made by disability applicants?

Because the majority of appeals are granted at a hearing, failing to appeal a denial to the hearing level is the number one error … and unfortunately very common.

More detailed information on these and other common claimant questions is available in the library below.