You may wonder, does my loved one still have a Social Security Disability Insurance claim?
The loss of a loved one after a long disability can be a difficult time, especially if they were waiting on a disability claim. In most cases, if your loved one filed for disability benefits before their death, their claim can still continue. If you qualify to step in under substitution of party (SOP), there are many things you can do to help their claim when the hearing comes around.
What to do to prepare for a hearing
Preparing for a hearing as an SOP is not difficult, but you may need some help from other people who knew the claimant. The first information the judge will want is about the claimant’s work history. You will need to know what work the person did going back 15 years. Details about the physical and mental demands of the work are especially helpful. If the person attempted to work at all after the onset of their disability, you need details about how long they worked and how much they earned. It may be helpful to talk to coworkers or someone who lived with the claimant, if you did not.
Next the judge will want to know about how the claimant’s physical and/or mental conditions affected their ability to work. This will include questions about things like basic self-care, chores, appointments and other tasks outside the home, and social interactions. The judge may also ask about hospitalizations or other aspects of treatment.
If the claimant has a history of drug or alcohol use, the judge will have questions about that. The judge will want to know details about how much and how often the claimant used drugs or alcohol. It will be important to know whether the person had any periods of sobriety, or rehab treatment. The judge may ask about how drug or alcohol use affected the person’s physical or mental health. Again, it may help to talk to other people who spent a lot of time with the claimant to get additional information.
Remember, no one expects you to have every answer. If you do not know the answer to a question, just tell the judge you do not know. The judge understands that there are things you cannot answer, just do your best. If you work with a lawyer on your claim, they can help you prepare and make sure you know exactly what to expect.
About Citizens Disability, LLC:
Since 2010, Citizens Disability has been America’s premier Social Security Disability institution. Our mission is to give a voice to the millions of Americans who are disabled and unable to work, helping them receive the Social Security Disability benefits to which they may be entitled.