Winning. It’s the focus of professional athletes, and lawyers, too. Winning the case is paramount. So what goes into winning a Social Security Disability (SSD) case? After all, the Government can deny your case, and you could end up with nothing. My experience is that, especially when you get to the “hearing level” which means in front of a SSD Judge, there are several, sort of “hidden” (not obvious) factors that can enter into a Judge’s thinking that you as the claimant may not immediately think about. But a Judge will look at these things:
1. Is there a long , solid work history? Yes, believe it or not, judges look at how long the person has worked before they became disabled. If the work record is spotty—some years of work, some years of not much or no work—a Judge may feel the disabled worker is not a motivated individual, and hold it against them.
2. Is there regular treatment? If a disabled individual hasn’t seen their doctors on a regular basis or stopped going, causing large gaps in the medical records, that’s a bad thing. A judge may assume their medical conditions really aren’t as severe as they allege.
3. Is the claimant seeing the right kind of doctors? Treating with MD’s who specialize in the condition that they are suffering from- good. Only seeing physician’s assistants or family doctors—bad.
4. Is the claimant honest? Claimants who exaggerate their symptoms or try to “guild the lily” can be punished by receiving a denial. Credibility is key. The reason there is a Judge making a decision is because a Judge can look at and listen to the claimant and assess whether he/she is being truthful or not.
Judges almost always look at these “hidden” factors when deciding a SSDB case. Like the commercial says, “The More You Know……”