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What NOT to do at Your Social Security Hearing

  • By:The Law Center for Social Security Rights
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  • Arguing your case. When testifying at your hearing, you simply need to relay the facts, give estimates of your limitations, detail your symptoms and describe your daily activities while using examples to illustrate your medical problems. Your disability attorney will argue your case on your behalf.
  • Do not draw conclusions for the judge. Allow the judge to come to his/her own conclusions. Do not say things like, “I want to work” or “If I could work, I would.” By saying such statements, a judge may get the picture that you could possibly work. The point is that there are some people with extreme disabilities who do work but this is not the point that you should be making at your hearing.
  • Resist comparing yourself to other people. Refrain from saying things like: “I know people who get benefits and they’re less disabled than me”. Comparisons of this type will not benefit your case and will most likely annoy your judge.
  • Do not try to evoke sympathy from the judge. Not only will it not help, it may backfire. There is nothing new that the judge has not already heard. Information on your financial situation or the eminent foreclosure on your home, as examples, is not relevant.
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