Posted by Louis B. Lusk
Like most people who are trying to be approved for Social Security disability benefits, you are probably nervous about testifying in court. Experienced disability lawyers in Atlanta GA can help you prepare in the days and weeks leading up to your court date. In the meantime, there are a few things to keep in mind.
Judges have seen it all, and they can easily tell when a witness is being untruthful. Nothing can damage you case as much as coming across as dishonest, so answer all of the judge’s questions as truthfully as possible. When asked a question, don’t wonder how your answer will affect your case, and don’t try to determine why the judge is asking it. Be forthcoming about your limitations as well as your strengths. Do not engage in play-acting by pretending to cry or acting like you’re in more pain than you really are. By the same token, don’t downplay your pain and suffering. If you need to stand during your testimony or want a break, go ahead and ask.
When dealing with the government, people tend to err on the side of being as tight-lipped as possible. That’s understandable when they have something to lose. In this case, however, you have something to gain and should therefore be as candid and forthcoming as possible while sharing your story. Clearly explain to the judge why your condition keeps you from working. Include as many details, facts and explanations as possible.
People often worry about being unable to provide precise dates when asked. Judges understand that most people don’t have perfect memories, so don’t be afraid to say that you’re not quite sure of the exact date. Instead, give an approximation. You can provide an estimated date or a possible range of dates. You can also provide the month and year, the season and year or, if all else fails, just the year.
Your testimony will cover the following areas: your daily activities, your medical history, your estimate of your limitations when it comes to work, your work history, your symptoms and your education.