Most Detroit Social Security disability claimants have their initial application for benefits denied, and have to appear before an administrative law judge at a disability hearing in order to be awarded benefits. If the thought of testifying at your disability hearing is making you anxious, you may benefit from a consultation with an experienced Detroit disability lawyer.
During your hearing, the judge will ask you about your limitations related to your impairment. With these questions, the judge is trying to determine your ability to work. Thus, if the judge asks, “How long can you sit?”, he is really asking, “How long can you sit during a typical work day?” The judge may be trying to determine if you are capable of sedentary work – that is, a job that requires sitting for most of an 8-hour workday, 5 days a week.
The best way to answer this question is to provide detailed examples of your inability to sit for an extended period of time. For example, you might say that you are able to sit for an hour (e.g., during your Social Security hearing), but that you’ll need to lie down and rest after you return home. As another example, you might tell the judge that you sit a the kitchen table to pay bills, but after 15 to 20 minutes you need to stand up and walk around. It might be more physically comfortable to pay bills in your reclining chair, but significantly more difficult to get the bills done. If you cannot sit, even with standing and stretching, for an eight-hour workday, the judge needs to know. If sitting causes pain in your lower back or other physical symptoms, say so. This is not the time to be stoic or brave about your pain.
Your ability to sit will affect the judge’s decision regarding your claim. If you have questions about this aspect of your testimony or another aspect of your hearing, and you are not currently represented by a Detroit disability lawyer, please contact me.