What work can you do (the less you can do the higher your approval odds) how does your illness affect your working ability (if you can't do the work you've done before or have experience in, you could qualify), are you receiving any treatments (should focus on how treatments haven't helped when asked this).
When you apply for disability, the interview portion can be one of the most apprehensive steps of the process. You may wonder what kinds of questions the Social Security Administration (SSA) will ask regarding your case. We’ll try to help shed some light on the situation so that you can be more prepared in your answers.
What Does the SSA Want to Know?
Ultimately, the SSA wants to be sure that you have a qualifying disability. Your disability must affect your ability to work and function on a daily basis. They’ll examine the effects of your impairment and how those impairments affect you. They will want to identify how it might prevent you from being able to work.
The less you are able to work, the higher the chances are that you’ll get approved for benefits. The SSA will also ask what type of work you’ve done previously. They’ll also inquire about your level of education and training.
The objective of this is to establish whether you are employable and able to work in the area you have experience and training with. If your disability prevents you from working those jobs, it will likely help your case.
You will also be asked about any treatments you have previously received or are currently undergoing. When questioned about this, you’ll want to explain how your treatments haven’t been working. You need to show that you’ve tried to overcome your disability through the recommended treatment, but that it’s failed.
The SSA will try to evaluate the severity of your illness and whether or not it’s expected to improve. You may be asked about your ability to care for yourself or do daily activities, such as cooking, shopping, cleaning, etc. You may be asked how long you’re able to sit, walk, or stand or how much you can lift.
The answers to these questions will help the SSA evaluate the types of jobs you may be able to work. The less stamina you have, the more unlikely you’ll be able to hold down a job. If you’re unable to perform the most routine daily tasks, the SSA might see that working would also be difficult for you.
If your disability is due to a mental illness or condition, the SSA may ask about your ability to get along with others. You may also be asked about uncontrollable outbursts or crying.
You should gather any medical evidence that you have to help your case. Doctors’ letters, medical records, hospitalizations, tests, etc. are all vitally important to establish the extent of your disability.
What Answers Should You Give?
The first thing you want to remember is that you should address each question as directly and honestly as you can. Avoiding or missing a question is one of the top things that can get your case dismissed. Try not to ramble and give short and concise answers.
The SSA will be looking for a pattern that displays your inability to work. The medical evidence and your answers must show them that working is nearly impossible for you. Try and give answers that show how your disability has changed your life.
If you have areas of your life that you can no longer do alone, explain it. For instance, if you can no longer drive and must have someone drive you places, offer it up as evidence. If you can’t concentrate or have memory issues, and it affects your ability to handle your finances, say so.
You may want to prepare your answers ahead of time so that you don’t panic or get overwhelmed when asked questions. Even in the best situations, many of us freeze when under pressure.
Get a Legal Advocate to Help
You may want to consider hiring a disability attorney to help you prepare for your case. A disability lawyer can help you have the answers that will support your case.
An attorney or representative can help you prepare for your case to help lead you to a successful disability claim. In fact, if your case is in the form of a disability hearing, an attorney can even help answer many of the questions that’ll be asked.
Having a legal representative can help ensure that your case is presented with no facts unturned and make sure all the evidence is in your corner. Consult a disability attorney today.