The majority of the time, claimants are found entitled to receive disability benefits by virtue of the severity of their symptoms, not their diagnosis. When a claimant has a Social Security Disability (“SSD”) hearing, the Social Security rules and regulations require an administrative law judge (“ALJ”) to determine if the claimant’s symptoms can reasonably be accepted as consistent with the objective medical evidence and other evidence. That “other evidence” includes witnesses and support letters.
It is always a good practice at an SSD hearing to have a witness testify, who will help corroborate the claimant’s complaints and limitations. Support letters should be submitted even if the claimant brings a witness to the hearing, and should absolutely be used when no witness will testify.
I represent a 51 year old claimant with MS, whose SSD claim was approved today. The claimant was unable to bring a witness with her to the hearing, but I had procured several support letters that I submitted. The ALJ ruled that claimant’s statements concerning the intensity, persistence and limiting effects of her symptoms were reasonably consistent with the medical evidence and other evidence in the record. The ALJ singled out the statements of the claimant’s daughters among the support letters.Previous Next
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