One of the most critical tasks that an administrative law judge has in Social Security disability cases is determining whether a particular claimant is credible. There are several pieces of evidence that the judge may look at in making this assessment.
Your SSI lawyer Westchester can explain that the judge may look at evidence associated with your claims of pain or other symptoms and how they affect your ability to function. Such evidence may consist of medical examination results and lab test results. Additionally, he or she may look at more subjective evidence, such as medical opinions provided by psychologists, physicians, and other healthcare representatives who have a history with you. Additionally, he or she may review statements that you, friends, family members, and other acquaintances of yours have prepared that detail such aspects of your life as your medical history, your treatment history, your employment record, your attempts to work, your daily activities, and other information related to your impairments. Lastly, your SSD attorney Westchester can explain that the administrative law judge may take into consideration his or her own observations of your conduct during the hearing, as well as that of his or her staff and other representatives from the Social Security Administration.
Consistency in Statements
An SSD attorney Westchester can explain that one of the best ways that you can increase your level of credibility with the judge is to be consistent in your statements. Your testimony should be consistent with other statements you have provided as part of your case and with other aspects of your case record.
Factors that Affect Credibility
The administrative law judge may consider several factors. For example, he or she evaluates how closely your statements are to results in your medical records. Additionally, the administrative law judge will assess how consistent your statements are with previous things that you have stated in your record. In particular, the administrative law judge will compare the statements that you have made to treating doctors and other healthcare providers with the statements that you make at the hearing. If you applied for other benefits, such as private insurance disability benefits, veterans’ benefits, or workers’ compensation benefits, the judge will evaluate the statements that you made in these applications, if they are part of your case record.
In some instances, there may be a perfectly valid reason as to why statements you make are not consistent, even though they are credible. For example, your symptoms may change over time. Be sure to explain such differences.
Legal Assistance from an SSD Attorney Westchester
If you would like more information about how an administrative law judge assesses the credibility of claimants, contact an SSD attorney Westchester from Hermann Law Group, PLLC by calling (914) 286-3030.