Disability lawyer in Detroit
During a disability hearing, the judge will probably ask about how you spend an average day. Your description will then be used to see whether your activities are consistent with the limitations you talk about as a result of your disability. If, for example, you claim to have trouble walking or even standing because of the chronic pain in your back, yet testify that you are on a roller-derby team that practices three times a week, the judge may doubt your true limitations.
If you answer questions appropriately, you have the opportunity to help your case and let the judge truly understand the extent of your abilities. Here are some examples of answers a may not want you to make and what could happen if you do:
Judge: What activities do you perform on a regular day?
Claimant: I don’t do anything.
This answer is not very specific, nor does it help the judge understand anything about you or your limitations. Sitting and looking at a fly is something; sitting and watching cars drive by your house is something; sleeping on the couch is something; so there is no excuse for avoiding details. This is the kind of answer that could be detrimental to your case. Describe to the judge what are you are doing in detail, but also make sure that you elaborate and relate your activities to your limitations and symptoms when necessary.
The following is another poor example:
Judge: What do you do on a usual day?
Claimant: I do a little cooking, cleaning, tidying up around the house, and go buy groceries or do the laundry.
While this answer is truthful, and does explain an average day to the judge, it leaves out many key elements. For example, the claimant fails to mention that she can only clean the house for a few minutes before she has to sit and rest for a while; she cooks only small meals because standing for more than half an hour leaves her in excruciating pain; her son must help her do the laundry; and she cannot go to the store without someone to help hold the bags and must sometimes ride in the power chairs they provide if she needs more than a couple items. She also did not mention that she must sit down many times throughout every day to alleviate the pain she feels. So you can see, a very brief description, while true, does not fully explain one’s disability, and details are needed to help prove one’s case.
In order to truly help the judge understand you and your disability, give them a play-by-play of a usual day hour by hour. Be sure to explain the things you must do differently as a result of your disability. Take a moment to stop and consider how your life has truly been affected and you will probably have a lengthy list of how your impairment has impacted your life. A disability attorney in Detroit can help you prepare what to say regarding this.
Make sure you describe the approximate length of each activity you perform and for how long you have to stop and rest after it. Details are very important here as well, make sure you state whether you must sit or lie down; whether you are on a chair, couch, or recliner; and the difference between how long it used to take to perform the activity and how long it does not. Describe each activity that you are unable to complete without the help of others; state who each person is and exactly how they help you.
Experienced disability attorney in Detroit Marc J. Shefman will help you file your disability claims and fully prepare for answering all the questions a judge may have for you so that you can get the best result possible. Give us a call today at 248-298-3003.