Credibility is King!
A key ingredient to winning disability claims is whether the judge believes your testimony. I know that seems obvious, but it’s true. I am not sure I have ever had a “perfect” case. Every case has some inconsistency. One test comes back normal, but the next test shows a severe problem. During one exam you described severe, debilitating pain, and in the next examination you told the doctor you’re “ok”. So what makes the difference? Credibility.
The reason we have a hearing, the reason you testify, is so the judge understands that you are a real person. A living, breathing person with a real condition that keeps you from working. After you cut through all the tests, examinations, records, etc., it usually just boils down to whether the judge believes you.
When you testify, be ready to look the judge in the eye and discuss your limitations or the severity of your pain. You want the judge to “see” the pain on your face. To “hear” the distress in your voice.
Many clients try so hard not to cry. Wrong answer! The correct frame of mind is to be yourself. If you try not to cry you are not being honest with yourself or the judge.
Remember it’s about credibility. Credibility is king.
by Paul B. Burkhalter Managing Partner of Morgan & Weisbrod, Board Certified in Social Security Disability Law.