Throughout the process of applying for disability, there are a number of steps to consider. One of the most stressful portions for any claimant is the application interview process. You may be wondering what the Social Security Administration (SSA) is trying to discern through the application interview, and you might wonder what questions they’ll ask about your claim.
The primary reason for the application interview is so that the SSA can verify that your disability qualifies you for Social Security disability benefits. In order to qualify, your disability needs to impair your ability to work—the SSA wants to determine that you are significantly impaired and to what extent that impairment impacts your life.
The first thing they will want to know is whether you are able to work, and to what extent. They will also want to know your educational background, training, and what work you’ve done in the past. If you’re unable to do the kind of work you’ve always done or the work for which you’ve trained, you may be more likely to qualify for benefits.
They will ask about the medical treatment that you are currently undergoing, or what treatments you have undergone in the past. Through these questions, the SSA wants to understand that you have attempted the physician-recommended treatments to address your disability.
What is the severity of your illness or disability? Are you expected to improve? Through questions like these, the SSA is attempting to judge the severity and prognosis of your disability. They may ask about your impairment in terms of daily activities, e.g., caring for and feeding yourself, cleaning and shopping, and so on.
It’s likely you’ll also be asked details like how long you’re able to do certain things, like stand, walk, or sit. They may ask how much you can lift. Through questions like this, the SSA may determine what jobs, if any, you may be able to do.
If you have a mental illness that’s preventing you from working, the SSA will likely ask questions about how that condition impacts your daily life. For example, if you struggle with social interactions, your mood, and ability to tolerate the stress and pressure of a work environment.
As we’ve discussed in previous blogs, part of preparing your case is compiling information that’s relevant to your disability, i.e., doctor’s letters, medical records, records of any hospitalizations, test results, medications, and so on. A Social Security disability lawyer can help you collect the evidence that you need to present during the process, as well as helping you prepare for the application interview. If you’re considering applying for disability, or you’ve already begun, contact Molly Burke Law Office today to set up your free, no-obligation consultation!