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Author Topic: Questions asked at an ALJ Hearing  (Read 51799 times)


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Questions asked at an ALJ Hearing
« on: February 05, 2012, 09:51:43 PM »
      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?
3.   Height?
4.   Weight?
5.   Left or right handed?
6.   Married?
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?

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)?
44.    When?
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?
55.    Where?
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. :)
« Last Edit: February 06, 2012, 03:16:39 AM by plgerrard »
"Laughter is a powerful tool against life's ample conundrums." -J.L. Eades

Dragon Fly

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Re: Questions asked at an ALJ Hearing
« Reply #1 on: February 05, 2012, 10:55:48 PM »
Thank you for taking the time to type all of this up!!!!
 :bravo: :bravo: :bravo: :bravo:
 :you-rock: :you-rock: :you-rock: :you-rock:
"And those who were seen dancing were thought to be insane by those who could not hear the music." --  Friedrich Nietzsche


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Re: Questions asked at an ALJ Hearing
« Reply #2 on: February 05, 2012, 11:26:00 PM »
 :you-rock: :you-rock: :Good-Post: :Good-Post:
“That which does not kill us makes us stronger.”
― Friedrich Nietzsche


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Re: Questions asked at an ALJ Hearing
« Reply #3 on: February 06, 2012, 03:18:21 AM »

:I-Agree: :Good-Post: :you-rock:

This is great information Jen, and I have stickied the topic. Taking the time to pull it all together is very much appreciated.

:thanx: :thanx: :thanx:

The best way to pay for a lovely moment is to enjoy it. (Richard Bach)


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Re: Questions asked at an ALJ Hearing
« Reply #4 on: February 06, 2012, 09:02:06 AM »
Thanks for the info. My hearing is Wensday @ 10:30 am ,I hope Iam ready , The light at the end of the tunnel is getting smaller.


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Re: Questions asked at an ALJ Hearing
« Reply #5 on: February 06, 2012, 09:22:40 AM »
Thank you Jen :) A great source of information for everyone with an upcoming hearings and there are quite a few!!  :Good-Post: :heartthrob:


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Re: Questions asked at an ALJ Hearing
« Reply #6 on: February 06, 2012, 09:50:59 AM »
 :thank_you: Jen!

  My hearing is on February 23rd and this questionnaire will surely help me to try and organize my thoughts beforehand!  I'm already getting jittery already!  I've answered all these questions before, to my lawyer and doctor, so it's pretty simple to just be truthful? My problem will be remembering specific dates?  I have to write everything down, now.  I used to be able to remember, but now that I'm older, my memory is fading, somewhat?  I hope the judge will be patient with me?

Again, Thanks,
Max  :thank_you:
Humor does not rescue us from unhappiness, but enables us to move back from it a little.

E Wieczorek

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Re: Questions asked at an ALJ Hearing
« Reply #7 on: February 06, 2012, 10:07:20 AM »
Thank you for all the info :thanx: , This gives me and i'm sure others a chance to practice the answers for their hearing up coming.  :Good-Post:


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Re: Questions asked at an ALJ Hearing
« Reply #8 on: February 06, 2012, 12:47:40 PM »
Thank you for posting this is very valuable information!!Cant wait for my day in front of the ALJ 8)


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Re: Questions asked at an ALJ Hearing
« Reply #9 on: February 06, 2012, 01:36:08 PM »

Thank you so much for taking the time to post these questions. This will be valuable information to people for years to come! I have my hearing in April. I will be going over these questions in my head until then.  :) Thanks so much!



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Re: Questions asked at an ALJ Hearing
« Reply #10 on: February 06, 2012, 01:59:04 PM »
     You all are so very welcome! It was my pleasure. I happened to find the papers I wrote the questions down on in my laptop bag last night and thought I would type them out. @ Max - these basically are the questions they ask you in the questionnaires that they send you, which is what I told my husband. "I already answered these questions, why did I just have to do it again!?"  ;D  Oh, and also, my memory is not exactly the best either so during my hearing when the judge asked me the dates of my employment, my lawyer faced his laptop towards me so I could see what he had for my employment dates, so he saved my butt on that one. ;)

 :good-luck: to everyone with an upcoming ALJ hearing. You'll do GREAT!  :big grin:
"Laughter is a powerful tool against life's ample conundrums." -J.L. Eades


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Re: Questions asked at an ALJ Hearing
« Reply #11 on: February 06, 2012, 02:08:50 PM »
I read something at one time, and I think it was from an attorney's site, that they recommend that the claimant does not take in notes/notebook etc.   :writing: Go from the gut. I thought I would  write dates down etc. I could not even begin to tell you dates of surgery's, employment dates etc. Heck I can't even remember what day it is sometimes.  :think:  Or what I had for supper the night before.  :pizza:     So I wonder what is good practice.

Notes or NO Notes?  :writing: :laptop: :dunno:



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Re: Questions asked at an ALJ Hearing
« Reply #12 on: February 06, 2012, 02:31:04 PM »
     That's a good question Mousey! Notes or no notes...  Well, my attorney said nothing about making notes, but if you have an attorney, you could always ask about him having some information available to you while you in your hearing (such as employment dates). I think the judge may understand that people cannot remember every single date off the top of their head since that would be way too much for anyone to remember. If you don't have an attorney, maybe it would be okay to just write down dates of certain surgeries/Dr. appointments or employment dates. Everything else that is answered should come naturally I think. That is just my thoughts about it though. Anyone else have any experience with taking notes with them to a hearing?
"Laughter is a powerful tool against life's ample conundrums." -J.L. Eades


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Re: Questions asked at an ALJ Hearing
« Reply #13 on: February 06, 2012, 07:10:37 PM »
     I wanted to add that I did some searching online and found a very good video on youtube that will show what an ALJ hearing is like. This is NOT the same video I received, but for anyone interested in viewing it (it is 18 minutes long) sign in to youtube and search for "SSDI Hearing Video".  :)
"Laughter is a powerful tool against life's ample conundrums." -J.L. Eades


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Re: Questions asked at an ALJ Hearing
« Reply #14 on: February 06, 2012, 08:40:47 PM »
I think a note to your attorney prior to the hearing with everything you want addressed is good but I would not bring notes in with you.  I think if your disability makes you forgetful or you have trouble concentrating there is a benefit to the Judge seeing that.  Just my opinion. 

Let me add my thanks as well for this post.  The questions are great and Pati is going to be adding them to our frequently asked questions section so I appreciate it very much.
I speak from experience not expertise.


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