If a claimant has a good work history, then I emphasize that point. The more years you work, and the more money you earn, the better. The commonsense argument is that if you have a strong work ethic, or made a lot of money, you have no incentive to stop working.
I also obtain support letters from friends and relatives to describe how the claimant’s fibromyalgia has progressively affected her ability to function. Support letter are especially important if the claimant is unable to bring a witness to testify at a hearing.
I represent a former collector with fibromyalgia, whose Social Security Disability (“SSD”) claim was approve today. She had worked for many years, and earned over $100,000. I questioned the claimant about these points in detail during the hearing. I had also submitted support letters from friends and relatives, describing their observations about how the fibromyalgia limited the claimant’s perform tasks.
The administrative law judge (“ALJ”) found that the claimant had consistent complaints. However, the ALJ professed that, “the medical record is not extensive, and includes a number of normal studies.” Nonetheless, the ALJ approved SSD benefits after concluding that the claimant’s documented complaints were consistent, and were supported by her “very long work history.”