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How to Prepare for a Disability Interview

November 24, 2021 Disability

Applying for Social Security disability benefits can be a long, drawn-out process — and one that can go wrong at any point. One of the most nerve-wracking aspects of the disability benefits application process is the disability interview. After you submit your application, the Social Security Administration (SSA) will contact you to schedule an interview, which may be conducted either in person or by phone. While the initial interview occurs early in the process, it is crucially important and can have a significant effect on your eligibility for Social Security disability benefits. A Baltimore disability lawyer can help you put your best foot forward during your disability interview. 

Anticipate Which Questions Will Be Asked

The purpose of a disability interview is to screen applicants to ensure that they qualify for benefits. As such, your disability interviewer will ask you a series of questions about both your medical condition and your work history to determine whether you meet the SSA’s requirements. You should thus be prepared to answer questions about your condition and how your condition affects your ability to work. The questions asked may relate to the following topics: 

Your Condition

  • When your condition began
  • What symptoms you experience 
  • How severe your symptoms are
  • How frequently you experience each symptom
  • How many times you have seen your doctor regarding your condition
  • The dates of your doctors’ appointments
  • Which medical tests you have undergone 
  • Which medications you are taking
  • Which other, non-prescription treatments you have tried
  • How well each treatment alleviated your symptoms
  • How your symptoms affect your ability to perform the activities of daily living

Your Job History 

  • Your work history for the previous 15 years
  • The names of your current and former employers
  • The dates you last worked
  • How often you work
  • What kinds of tasks and responsibilities your work involved
  • Your educational background 
  • Whether you have difficulty performing your work tasks
  • Whether you have received reasonable accommodations for your condition at work 

Gather the Necessary Information

Before your interview, assemble all of the documentation you may need to answer the above questions, including the names and contact information of your doctors, the names and contact information of your employers, the results of medical tests you have undergone, and the names and dosages of any medications you are taking. You may also find it helpful to keep a disability journal before and during the application process that can help establish with greater precision the details of your condition. Most importantly, be honest with your interviewer; do not exaggerate your symptoms, but do not downplay them either. Make sure you understand the question, and if you don’t, ask for clarification. And answer what is asked, but only what is asked. 

Contact a Baltimore Disability Lawyer for Help Preparing for a Disability Interview

Disability interviews can be intimidating, and we understand the pressure you may feel to get things “right.” To maximize your chances of a smooth and successful disability interview, you should consider seeking the advice of an attorney. To get started, please contact Baltimore disability lawyer Emmett B. Irwin by calling 443-839-0818 or using our online contact form.