What Questions Will Be Asked in Your Social Security Disability Interview?
With your disabling condition being a focal point of your application for disability benefits, you can, of course, expect to face a number of questions relating to your disabling injury, illness, or condition. For instance, the interviewer will likely ask about when your condition turned into a disabling condition and what the contact information for your treating physicians is as well as what prescriptions you are currently taking and what medical tests you have undergone regarding your disabling condition. In addition to being prepared to answer these questions, you should also consider bringing the related medical documentation to your interview. Your interviewer may want to review them.
Another big part of the application for disability benefits process is establishing the fact that your disabling condition prevents you from engaging in substantially gainful activity. This includes being able to support the assertion that you cannot engage in jobs you previously held in the past. Because of this, your employment history will another central role in the interview process. The interviewer is likely to ask about the dates you last worked as well as your employment history for the past 15 years. Relevant information regarding your employment history will include the job titles you held as well as the types of businesses you worked for and the days and hours you worked. You will also likely be questioned about how much you were paid and how often you received payment.
Finances can also play a big part in your Social Security disability benefits interview. This is especially true if you are applying for Supplemental Security Income (SSI) disability benefits. This is because SSI benefits are intended for low-income individuals who may not have paid enough in the way of Social Security taxes to be covered otherwise. Financial questions in your interview may include your living situation. The interviewer may ask about who lives with you, your current living arrangement, and your household expenses. Additionally, you will likely be asked about any sources of income you may have as well as your marital status, bank account balances, and any investments you may have.
What Happens During the Social Security Disability Interview?
The claims representative asks you a series of questions. Your interview can take place in person or over the telephone. It generally lasts for about an hour.
Having a professional representative with you at your hearing will allow you to focus on your own testimony so you can thoroughly explain your limitations to the judge. Your attorney will support you during your testimony and make sure all relevant evidence is presented.
Work history is also a key topic at SSDI hearings. The judge will inquire about your past job duties, the physical or mental requirements to perform the job, and the resulting impact on your ability to perform job duties with the existence of any medical impairments. If there is a vocational expert present, then he or she will likely answer questions from the judge about certain occupations and how certain limitations would impact the ability to work.
Many people feel anxiety over “going to court” and not knowing what to expect. Working with an experienced representative and a disability attorney who are familiar with hearing offices and local judges allows you to ask questions and set expectations about interacting with the judge and the hearing environment ahead of time.
Until further notice, the Social Security Administration (SSA) is currently holding all Social Security Disability Insurance (SSDI) hearings by telephone due to COVID-19. Whether it take places in person or over the telephone, your hearing in front of an Administrative Law Judge (ALJ) will be the most critical stage of your application process to date.
Once the hearing proceedings have ended it may take anywhere from two to five months to receive a decision from the ALJ. While many judges may make their determination more quickly than this, the decision must be officially written and entered into record with Social Security before it can be issued and considered ﬁnal.