Resist arguing your case. You simply need to relay the facts, give estimates of your limitations, detail your symptoms and describe your daily activities, using a good deal of examples to illustrate your problems for the judge. You should let your disability attorney argue your case on your behalf.
Resist attempting to draw conclusions for the judge. Allow the judge to come to his or her own conclusions. Try not to say things like, “I want to work,” or “If I could work, I would.” Saying something like this may lead the judge to picture someone like Stephen Hawking who, although he is in a wheelchair and unable to speak, is the world’s leading expert on theoretical physics. Even though many exceptional people with extreme disabilities exist who do work, that is not the point in a Social Security Disability case.
Resist comparing yourself to other people. Refrain from saying things like: “I know people who get benefits and they’re less disabled than me,” or “You’d give me disability benefits if I were an alcoholic.” Your disability attorney is well aware that comparisons of this type will not benefit your case.
Do not try to evoke sympathy from the judge. Not only will it not help, it may backfire. There is nothing new that the judge has not already heard. Information on your financial situation or the eminent foreclosure on your home, as examples, is not relevant.