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 informal and is a closed hearing unlike 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 are scheduled to testify. Currently, during the pandemic all hearings are being held by telephone or by video conference to avoid delay as SSA has been closed to the public.
The main part of the hearing will be having the client be questioned by the Judge and their representative. 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, etc. This helps the Judge determine what your limitations are, and if they are reasonable compared to your medical evidence.
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 that maybe less physically or mentally demanding.
Your representative should schedule a pre-hearing conference so that they may go over potential questions you could be asked and to prepare you for your big day. If you have a hearing, I would recommend getting an attorney to represent you. We can be reached at 561-598-7120.
Lyle B. Masnikoff, Esq. Law Offices of Lyle B. Masnikoff & Associates, P.A.
1645 Palm Beach Lakes Blvd., Suite 550
West Palm Beach, FL 33401