Social Security Disability: How Do I Win My Case?
Individual, Social Security | August 28, 2015
As a social security disability lawyer, I have handled hundreds of cases (or more) in south central Pennsylvania for more than 24 years, and every year, if not every month, I am asked: “Shawn, how do I win my social security disability case?”
The question is asked after the claimant has applied for benefits and been denied and now needs to make an appeal for Social Security Disability benefits. It makes no difference whether they have filed for disability insurance benefits or for supplemental security income benefits, the challenges are largely the same. Simply stated, to succeed, you need 3 things.
First, you need good medical documentation. Without good documentation, you cannot prevail. The social security regulations require objective medical evidence of your disability. Hence, you cannot simply show up and tell the social security judge how bad you are feeling. No matter how many tears you cry, this will not convince a judge of your disabling condition.
Instead, what the judge will rely heavily upon is what the medical records show. Knowing this, you must begin to create a medical record long before the hearing is ever scheduled. You need to identify the types of doctors that will assist you to get well and who will also be able to document your condition and later provide opinions to the judge about your limitations and restrictions of functioning.
Second, you will need to know how to present your case. An unrepresented claimant will often want to talk about things that have no bearing on the outcome of the case. The social security judge only has a limited amount of time to hear the case, so you better know what you want to say and be sure you say it.
Also, if there are any problems with statements in the medical record, such as medical record errors – and these occur all the time – you should be prepared to identify those errors and address them. If there is a medical record that says you “were feeling fine” but you know you never said that the doctor, you want to address that. If you do not, the judge may well use such statements to support your denial.
Third, you need to draw a good judge. Unlike the two items above, this is something you do not have any control over. Judges are like people. Some judges think everyone is disabled, while other judges think that no one is disabled. All other judges fall in between somewhere.
Although you have no say over who your judge will be, having a fair minded judge is quite helpful. In situations where you get a judge that is very difficult, you want to be sure to make a good “record” so you can use that to appeal the social security disability denial if you must.
Having a good social security disability lawyer can make all the difference between success and failure. A social security lawyer who knows disability insurance and supplemental security income law can help you build a good medical record. A disability lawyer can also make sure that your testimony and statements to a judge are focused to maximize their affect.
Give your social security disability case every opportunity to succeed. Please call Shawn McLaughlin and the experienced lawyers at Trinity Law today for help with your social security disability case 717-843-8046.