Social Security Question that Can Hurt Your Claim
It seems simple enough – you’ve gotten through most of your Social Security disability hearing, and the judge asks you, “What is a typical day like for you?” How you answer this seemingly simple Social Security question can make a big difference in your case.
Answering this Social Security Question
Many claimants will brush over the details, not giving a full description. They may tell the judge that they wake up, make coffee and maybe some breakfast. Then move to the couch where they stay until lunch, eat lunch, and then go back to the couch to nap and maybe watch TV until dinner and then bed.
While that may be a very broad summary of your day, it is important to be more descriptive. Help the judge better understand your typical day. I often find that clients don’t realize that it’s important to be very descriptive when talking to the judge. When you say you “wake up,” you may not wake up at the same time every day. Many of my clients have difficulty sleeping with their conditions (whether it’s anxiety, pain, or pure insomnia keeping them awake). With the difficulty in sleeping there comes varied wake-up times.
It’s also important to be descriptive with what kind of meals you are preparing for yourself. Are you making microwave meals, sandwiches, re-heating meals prepared for you by family or friends? Or are you standing in the kitchen cooking a full meal?
Also, when you are sitting watching TV, what are you watching? Are you watching the news? Your favorite sitcom? Long action movies? No matter what you are watching, explain whether you are able to keep up with the storyline. Do you have to take naps during the shows/movies? Can you focus and concentrate on the television show/movie?
Your Job is to Be Descriptive
When you are discussing your claim with the judge, it is important to be as descriptive as possible. Make sure the judge gets a clear understanding of what a typical day is like for you. It is your job to explain to the judge what your life is like, living with your medical conditions. If you do not explain it to them to the best of your ability, they are unable to understand your situation. The result may not be what you were hoping for.