Many people will ask why do they need to attend their hearing if they are represented and what kind of questions they will be asked. The hearing is very formal and is a closed hearing unlike a criminal hearing or something you would see on the television. The only people who will be in the courtroom will be the client, the representative, the Judge, the court reporter and any medical or vocational expert who is scheduled to testify. Some of the parties may even testify over the telephone or by video for the hearing.
The main part of the hearing will be the client and their representative being questioned by the Judge. This gives the client a chance to explain their conditions to the Judge and why they feel they deserve to be awarded benefits. Normally the questions will consist of background information such as date of birth, highest level of education and who the client lives with. The client will also be asked about their medical conditions, treatment, and how the conditions impact their daily activities. In regards to daily activities the client may be asked if they are able to cook, clean, go to the store, drive ect. This helps the Judge determine what your limitations are.
Another main topic of a hearing is 15 years of work history. This helps the Judge and a vocational expert if present determine what your past work consists of, if you can return to past work and if you have any transferable skills which can be transferred to another job.
Another question I always advise my clients to be prepared for is, “Why do you feel are the unable to work?” This is a question a lot of Judges will ask and you should always make sure your client is prepared for.
Over the past 16 years as an attorney, I have heard about every question you can imagine. We have represented thousands of clients and always make sure they are prepared for their Hearings and/or depositions. We meet with our clients frequently to make sure they understand the court process and feel as comfortable as possible. If you have a case and want to be prepared for your hearing, please give our firm a call at 561-598-7120.