At most Social Security Disability hearings the Administrative Law Judge (ALJ) will first introduce himself and state where the hearing is being held. If you have a representative, the ALJ will ask claimants if they have gone over the fee agreement and appointment of representation agreement. Claimants and any expert witnesses present will be asked to take an oath to tell the truth. It is common at disability hearings to have doctors, vocational experts, and psychologists present to testify.

In most hearings the ALJ will ask most of the questions to the claimant, but in some instances the ALJ will have the attorney ask questions to the claimant.

The questions listed below are some of the more common questions. If you are appearing at a disability hearing you can expect many additional questions. ALJs and representatives asks these questions to determine whether you are disabled under Social Security’s very specific definition of disability.

Common questions asked by the ALJ at a hearing

  • When did you start working?
  • Who do you live with?
  • What is preventing you from working?
  • Why does your medical impairment prevent your from working?
  • How long have you suffered from your medical impairment?
  • How did your last job end? (i.e. Were you fired? Did you quit?)
  • Is there any job you think you can do?
  • How long can you sit/stand/ walk?
  • Do you have trouble lifting yourself from a sitting to a standing position?
  • How much can you lift/ carry?
  • How many hours do you sleep per night?
  • Do you take naps?
  • Can you describe a typical day and what you do from the time you wake up until the time you go to sleep?
  • Who does the cooking at home?
  • Who does the cleaning at home?
  • Who does the grocery shopping at home?
  • What kind of home do you live in? (i.e. condo, apt. house, etc.)
  • Are there stairs to enter your home?
  • Are there stairs inside your home?


When you see the doctor the doctor write down the parts of your conversations with them that they record in your medical records. ALJs will compare the statements you make at your SSD hearing with the statements you have made to your doctors. They will also compare the statements you make at your hearing with any questionnaires you have completed and any third party function reports that were completed by friends, family, and former co-workers and the notes contained in your medical records.

It is of the utmost importance that everything in your records is consistent. Inconsistencies in a Social Security case are the worst thing, so remember, anything you say can and will be used against you.

Are you applying for SSD benefits? Consider the Good Law Group for your representation. Call us at #(847) 577-4476 or complete the online form for a free case evaluation.