Social Security Disability cases often come down to one thing; does the judge believe you are disabled? One of the ways the judge will determine this is to ensure that your statements about your symptoms have remained consistent.
Some of the factors the judge will use to determine the extent of your disability are as follows:
Your own words
You’ve most likely filled out a number of Social Security forms. These forms will be used as evidence in estimating your abilities. If you answered on one form that you can drive, but you said that you couldn’t drive on another, that could be seen as an inconsistency which may look like you are lying. You must be completely honest about your symptoms and as your statements should remain fairly consistent. Of course, symptoms change over time, but large discrepancies in your description may cause doubt.
The judge will examine your medical records including exam and treatment information and the results of any tests given. If the information in these medical records differs from the way you’ve described your symptoms and impairment, you will negatively impact your credibility. Be sure to share all information with regards to your pain and ailments with your physician. Otherwise, he or she may note in your medical records that you do not have them.
Comments from others
The Social Security Administration usually sends forms to other parties, including family members , that often make it into your Social Security Disability case. These statements from others might be about your daily activities and limitations. If the statements of these individuals differ significantly from your own description, you will cause the judge to doubt your honesty.
It’s always best to meet with your Social Security Disability Lawyer before your hearing with the Social Security. You and your lawyer can review statements you previously made to Social Security, review your medical records and review any other evidence in the claim file that may impact your credibility. This review will help you be prepared for questions about any discrepancies that may appear in your file.
If you are going to appeal a denial or Social Security Disability benefits, call our office at (571) 328-5795 to have your case screened to see if we can help you.