Do I have to testify at the appeals hearing?

Discussion in 'Fibromyalgia Main Forum' started by LuvQuilting, Apr 13, 2007.

  1. LuvQuilting

    LuvQuilting New Member

    Just wondering, once I find an attorney for the SS benefits, do they do all the work and I just sit back and watch or will I have to testify? That would just be terrifying for me with my anxiety! I'm hoping the attorney does all the talking.
  2. minkanyrose

    minkanyrose New Member

    I had to testify at my hearing the judge asked me when was the last time I worked. and a few other questions I don't remember them all but they were just like do you need or have help cleaning house or cooking how often do you cook are you able to get out much etc.

    I told them most days my daughters had to cook because I couldn't stand at the stove for more than 5 minutes then would have to set down and rest. Since I couldn't bend due to back pain my daughters did most of the house work and grocery shopping for me. All I had to do was prove that I couldn't do much with out the help of others.

    just be honest and don't worry about your anxiety that will work in your favor.

    hope you receive a favorable report.
    Brenda
  3. mezombie

    mezombie Member

    The ALJ will ask you some questions. These will be pretty basic and you'll know the answers. What he/she is looking for is your credibility. Just be honest. Don't think of it as "testimony".

    You can also bring someone with you for moral support, BTW.
  4. netnut

    netnut New Member

    We can bring someone?

    I am very nervous myself and I am waiting to hear about my hearing now. We are trying to get it expedited.

    If they ask me about cooking and cleaning my husband would probably choke! I have burned so many meals because I have to sit down after about 5 mins standing at the stove and my memory is so bad I forget Im cooking until I smell it. My house is a shambles because I have a hard time bending and picking stuff up.

    Forget sweeping, mopping and vacuuming.
  5. mezombie

    mezombie Member

    Yes, you really can bring someone along to your hearing.

    As a matter of fact, that person can even add their own comments at the hearing. So if you bring someone who lives with you and/or knows very well how you can no longer do the things you used to, it can only help you, IMHO.
  6. LuvQuilting

    LuvQuilting New Member

    I'll have to take an Ativan if I know I'll be asked questions, I'll just be so nervous as I have social phobia and hate having any attention directed at me. My mind usually goes totally blank and I can't focus. I was hoping the attorney could do all the talking. Are there many people in the court room or would it just be for my hearing?
  7. mezombie

    mezombie Member

    Usually, the only other people in the room will be the judge, an assistant (to make sure the hearing is tape recorded), and maybe a vocational expert. That's it. Not audience!

    Your attorney certainly has the opportunity to talk, and will. And if you bring DH or someone else along who's witnessed your decline, they can talk as well.

    The room itself is not set up like a traditional courtroom. Mine was a simple room with a large rectangular table. My attorney, friend, and I sat at one end, and the judge sat at the other.

    It's OK to be human and show anxiety, tears, whatever! You are not on "trial" here. The questioning tends to be inquiring, not aggressive. The ALJ wants to make sure you are not trying to scam the system, more than anything else. Tears welled up when I had my hearing, because I was so mortified about actually having to ask for government assistance.
  8. LuvQuilting

    LuvQuilting New Member

    That's a relief to hear and should make the whole thing a lot easier. I know I'll still be nervous though.