Testifying Effectively About Your Daily Activities

At your disability hearing, the judge will probably ask you about your usual daily activities. The judge will evaluate your daily activities to determine whether they are in harmony with your reported symptoms and limitations. For example, if you claim to have trouble standing and sitting because of severe back pain, but you testify that you ride your bike every day, the judge will doubt your claims. Your Orange Park disability lawyer will help you tailor your testimony to your specific disability.


The judge’s questioning about your daily activities offers you a great chance to support your case with lots of specific facts. Here are some examples:  

Judge: What do you do on a typical day?
Claimant: Nothing.

This is an ineffective answer. Your Orange Park disability lawyer will advise you to describe exactly what you do: watching television, staring out the window, lying down, or staring at the ceiling.

Here’s another example of ineffective testimony:
Judge: What do you do on a typical day?
Claimant: I cook, clean, dust, go to the market, and wash some clothes.

Although this answer is honest, it doesn’t support the case because the claimant omitted all the key facts.

A better answer would be:  

Judge: What do you do on a typical day?
Claimant: I clean the house, but I can only do it for a few minutes at a time. Then I have to lie down and rest. I cook only easy meals because I can’t stand in the kitchen for very long. My neighbor helps me wash clothes and go to the store because I can’t lift things. I have to rest on my recliner throughout the day to ease my back pain.

It may help to describe your day hour by hour. Focus on activities you must do differently now because of your disability. There are probably quite a few. These are crucial because they are evidence of how your disability has negatively affected your life.

Contact Us For advice about your Social Security disability claim from a Orange Park disability lawyer, call First Coast Disability Lawyers at 904-215-5555.

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