Before my hearing, my representatives sent me a DVD on what to expect at an ALJ Hearing and questions that the judge MAY ask. I want to point out that the judge that had my case did not ask me every single question below, but I wrote down all the questions from the DVD anyway so I could be prepared. I decided to post the questions here for all of you that have an upcoming hearing since I see many inquiries about what to expect. I am hoping that this will give you a better idea of what your hearing day will be like.
At the hearing you can dress casually (I wouldn’t recommend torn jeans or a worn out 80’s rock band t-shirt though)
An ALJ hearing usually consists of the Judge (either in person or by video), the person that records the hearing, the vocational expert (video or in person), your representative (if you have one) and you. The hearing will more than likely be held in a conference type of a room. The judge may or may not wear a robe. There will be microphones there just for recording purposes (not to amplify your voice). When answering your questions, look at the judge and (even when your attorney is asking you the questions) be sure to speak loud enough for him to hear you. Your hearing should last anywhere from 20 to 30 minutes. It could take longer depending on how much information you need to provide. General Questions
1. Date of birth?
2. Age of alleged onset?
5. Left or right handed?
7. If so, is your spouse employed?
8. Do you have children?
9. If so, what are their ages?
10. Do you live in a house, apartment, or etc.?
11. How did you get to the hearing?
12. What is the distance to the hearing from your residence?
13. Did you serve in the military?
14. If so, what was your rank?
15. Do you receive unemployment insurance?
16. Do you receive welfare or food stamps?
17. Do you receive worker’s compensation?
18. Do you receive federal black young benefits?
19. Are there any other benefits that you receive?Education
20. What is the highest grade you finished in school?
21. Did you attend college?
22. Do you have any problems reading or writing?
23. Can you pick up a newspaper and read an article on the front page?
24. Can you write a phone message for someone?
25. Are you capable of writing a check?
26. Can you do simple math, adding or subtracting?
27. Can you count change?
28. Do you have any vocational or special training?
29. If so, in what area?
30. When did you last work?
31. What was the name of your employer?
32. What were the dates of your employment?
33. What was the nature of the job? Duties?
34. Why did you stop working?
35. Can you do your prior job?
36. Why or why not?
37. Have you looked for work since your last job?
38. Where else have you worked in the last 15 years?Medical Conditions
39. Describe in your own words all the medical problems that you are having that are keeping you from working.
40. What are the names of the doctors/physicians you are seeing?
41. What are they treating you for?
42. Have you ever been treated or hospitalized for a mental or emotional condition?
43. Have you had any operations/medical procedures (how far back)?
45. Do you have any problems sleeping?
46. Does the weather affect your condition?
47. If so, how?
48. Have you been told by your doctor to avoid certain things?
49. If so, what are they?
50. Describe the medication you are taking and if they are helping your condition.
51. Do you have any side effects from the medication?Questions about Your Pain
52. Tell me more about the pain you said you have.
53. Describe the pain and where it is mostly.
54. Does the pain radiate or move around?
56. Is there any time when you do not have pain?
57. If so, when?
58. How long of a time do you go without pain?
59. Is the pain worse at certain times?
60. What happens to make your pain worse?
61. How long does the pain last when it’s worse?
62. How often does this happen?
63. What do you do to relieve the pain?
64. What have you been telling your doctor about the pain?
65. What does your doctor tell you about helping the pain?
66. What does the doctor tell you about the future of your problem/s?
67. Has your doctor mentioned anything to you about future treatments?
68. Do you lie down during the day to relieve pain?
69. If so, for how long?
70. How often?Activities of Daily Living
71. What do you do to fill your time when you’re not working?
72. Do you drive a car?
73. If so, how often?
74. Do you watch TV?
75. Do you listen to the radio?
76. Do you do crossword puzzles?Physical Limitations
77. Do you do your grocery shopping?
78. If so, how often?
79. If you do not do your grocery shopping, who does it for you?
80. Do you have social activities?
81. If so, how often?
82. Do you attend church?
83. If so, how often do you attend and how far is it from your home?
84. Housework? Do you cook, wash dishes and put them away?
85. Can you make a bed, vacuum, clean, sweep, take out trash?
86. Are you able to do any yard work?
87. If not, who does?
88. Can you lift 20 pounds frequently?
89. Can you occasionally lift 20 pounds?
90. Can you lift 10 pounds frequently?
91. Can you occasionally lift 10 pounds?
92. Can you lift a gallon of milk?
93. Can you lift files and ledgers?
94. Are you able to go for a walk?
95. If so, how far?
96. Can you walk up or down a hill?
97. Do you have problems standing?
98. How long?
99. Can you get in and out of a chair?
100. Do you have any problems with your hands or your arms?
101. Can you reach over your head?
102. Can you hold your arms straight out?
103. Can you pick up small objects such as a coin on a table?
104. Do you have any problems seeing?
105. Do you have any problems hearing?
106. Do you have any problems breathing?
107. Do you have any problems with dizziness? Balance?
108. Problems bending, stooping or crouching?
109. Can you move your hands and feet while sitting?
110. Can you grasp things?Emotional Limitations
111. Do you have any problems getting along with family or friends?
112. Can you do things that you use to do?
113. What are they?
114. How is your memory?
115. How is your concentration?
116. Are the above problems out of the ordinary?
117. How do you feel about life in general?
118. Do you have feelings of guilt, worthlessness, or suicide?
119. How is your appetite?
120. Do you smoke?
121. Do you drink alcohol?
122. If so, how often?
123. Is there anything else not discussed about your condition that should be known?
Just answer truthfully and give thoughtful detailed answers so that the judge can better understand your condition/s.