Types of Witness Testimony
Your Social Security disability hearing is your first real chance of success in being awarded Social Security disability benefits. Therefore, it is imperative that you are adequately prepared in advance of your hearing. A successful Social Security disability hearing demands many components that may be difficult for even the most experienced claimant to present to the administrative law judge. Lay witness testimony is one important component of a successful Social Security disability hearing. How the witness is prepared and examined at your hearing may make the difference in the success of your case. The assistance of your Denver disability attorney is invaluable in properly preparing and examining your witness during your disability hearing.
Your Denver disability attorney’s goal in questioning lay witnesses will be to elicit detailed testimony. But sometimes, it is necessary for your lawyer to use lay testimony to simply corroborate your own testimony. “Corroboration” is when another person’s testimony is used to back up and substantiate whatever testimony preceded it.
In some instances, your Denver disability attorney may try to get “before” and “after” testimony from lay witnesses. In doing so, it is your lawyer’s goal is to compare your condition prior to the inception of your disability to how you function now.
The most effective way to elicit such type of testimony is for the lay witness to emphasize his or her observations of your condition before the onset of your disability versus your condition now and avoid providing mere conclusions. More specifically, if the lay witness is testifying as to your impairment, as observed by him or her, they should indicate how it limits your actions, particularly those relating to your work functions, and verify your medical routine and treatment. As a general rule, the more detail that is presented with regards to your specific daily routines and abilities as affected by your disability, the greater chance of a success that you will have at your Social Security disability hearing.
It is very rare that a Social Security disability claim does not require good lay witnesses in getting a favorable outcome. But even the most effective witness will not be helpful to your claim without proper examination at trial by a good Denver disability attorney.
For a free consultation with an experienced Denver disability attorney, please contact the law office of John Cimino at (800) 626-6437.