Be assured that you will know the answers to the questions that you are asked because all of the questions are about you and your disability. You will be asked your name, date of birth, address, and possibly your Social Security Number. You will usually be asked if you were in the military and if your are married, single, or divorced. These are questions that are easy for most people. However, once those questions are answered, you will be asked about your disability. There are things you can do to prepare to answer those questions.
The main thing you can do to help yourself is think about your disability and how it keeps you from working. Specifically, the Judge wants to know how much you can lift, how long you can sit, stand and walk, and if you are able to concentrate on job instructions. All of the questions are asked in the context of an 8 hour work day. For example, if you lay down every afternoon for 2 hours because of back pain or other reasons, you need to tell the judge that you lie down, because that amount of lying down eliminates all work. Can you imagine an employer letting you lay down on the job for two hours during an eight hour shift? Of course not. That is why it is important to use numbers and examples when you talk about your disability. If you tell the judge you lay down "a lot," that doesn't help your case. No one knows what "a lot" means to you. So, instead of answering with general statements, be specific. If the judge asks how many pounds you can lift, the answer isn't "not very much." The answer is 5, 10, or the number of pounds you could lift repetitively throughout the course of an 8 hour work day without pain. Before the hearing, mentally review your limitations so you can be prepared to explain, using numbers and examples, how you are not able to complete an 8 hour work day due to your disabling impairments. If you need representation at your upcoming hearing, call us at Cannon Disability Law. We can help you win your case.