Posted by Louis B. Lusk
For many disability claimants, the most important part of the process is the disability hearing; it is here that you finally have the opportunity to speak and explain to the judge exactly what your symptoms are. In large measure, symptoms are how you feel, and you are the one best able to convey this to the judge.
Although symptoms are indeed unique, your Atlanta Social Security disability attorney will explain that the information you provided regarding your medical examinations, tests and other procedures must indicate symptoms similar to those you report. For example, your medical records may show the likelihood that you are suffering some degree of pain, but the manner in which you describe the severity, duration and frequency of the pain you actually experience will provide the judge with much needed information.
It doesn’t help your case if you simply state the fact that you have a certain condition, such as, “I have arthritis.” Additionally, even though you probably know more about your medical impairments that a lot of doctors, it is counterproductive to speak in clinical, medical terminology. Instead, simply describe in detail how you feel.
Your Atlanta Social Security disability attorney will tell you from experience that it is important to be very honest in describing your symptoms. Do not exaggerate; avoid the temptation to say things like, “I am in constant pain.” Very few people experience ongoing pain with no relief; pain is more typically intermittent. Most claimants in fact do have some good days. You seem far more believable if you tell the judge that fact, but it is also essential not to minimize your symptoms. Even if you think a lot of people suffer similarly to you, it doesn’t advance your interest to say this at the hearing.
Be as descriptive as you can, especially in relating how your impairments limit your ability to perform daily activities. For example, if you have to sit down and elevate your feet after standing for 30 minutes, say so. Describe as accurately as possible what causes your symptoms to flare up, what alleviates them and how long the process typically takes.
As a Social Security disability claimant, you understand the process can be complex and lengthy and denials are common. However, persistence and exploring your options on appeal can lead to positive results. For information on your case, call Louis B. Lusk, an Atlanta disability attorney, at (404) 250-7000.