Your Social Security disability attorney and your doctors are very important players in the battle for your SSI or SSDI benefits. When appealing a Social Security denial, our disability law firm will be contacting these medical sources to assemble a case to bring before an administrative law judge. As we have discussed in previous articles, it is crucial that you are constantly providing your doctors with specific descriptions of your symptoms, and providing our Social Security lawyers with specific information about your medical treatment. That enables these two key actors to do the most for your case.
Ultimately, however, the decision in your case for Social Security disability benefits is the Social Security Administration. They are the ones who consider your disability attorney’s arguments and the medical evidence we work to collect and present. They then consider this along with information obtained from you, the claimant. As such, it is just as important to be specific when telling them about your medical and financial information, as well as giving specific details to a judge, if your case is called to a hearing.
Dealing With SSA Before Your Hearing
The Social Security Administration, in considering all applications for benefits, does not just consider the information contained in your doctor’s notes and records. There are often gaps in reasoning between what your doctors write about and the questions Social Security needs answered. A doctor is not likely to write that you can stand for a certain amount of time, or that you are unable to be around vibrations or hazardous machinery. Unfortunately, these are the things Social Security must take into account in figuring out what types of jobs you may or may not be able to do.
To fill in these gaps in reasoning, SSA often will send claimants questionnaires. These can be generic questionnaires about pain or loss of strength in certain parts of your body, to more specific ones about seizure activity or mental health symptoms. Before you get to a hearing, this may be the ONLY chance you have to provide your personal input into your case for Social Security disability! As such, you MUST be as specific and truthful as possible when filling these out. The best answers will not exaggerate any symptoms, but will provide minute detail into how your symptoms affect you in your day to day life.
Specificity in Your Hearing Testimony
Another area in which you want to be very detailed is in your Social Security hearing. If your case needs to go before a judge, then the judge wants your story in your words. How do your conditions affect you on a personal level? What can and can’t you do, and why? It’s pretty obvious why you want to be specific here: you only get one chance to talk to the administrative law judge, and they will be the one that decides your case at this level. You want them to have as much detail as possible in your hearing testimony.
As a disability law firm, we stress many different things to our clients when dealing with Social Security. Be prompt. Be truthful. Be patient. The most important one, however, is to be specific. Don’t leave out any details, and make sure there are no grey areas when dealing with anyone related to your case for Social Security disability benefits. It makes everything go more smoothly, and gives you the best chance to succeed on your claim.