Three Reasons Lay Witness Testimony Can Be Important To Your Ocala Social Security Disability Claim

Posted on May 1, 2012 by cjblog

The significance of lay witness testimony to your Ocala Social Security disability case has been recognized by the Social Security Administration and also the courts. The Social Security Administration regulations acknowledge that observations by non-medical sources may help the Social Security Administration understand how a medical impairment affects a claimant’s ability to work. In fact, the Social Security Administration’s definition of “evidence” includes testimony and statements made by lay witnesses about a claimant’s restrictions, daily activities, efforts to work, and other issues.  Here are three important issues that lay witnesses can testify about.

  • Your Residual Functional Capacity

In determining whether you are disabled, the Social Security Administration determines your residual functional capacity (RFC), which is a measure of how much exertion you are capable of despite your impairment.  In making this assessment, the Social Security Administration is required to consider descriptions and observations of your limitations provided by your family, neighbors, friends, or other persons.

  • The Onset Date of Your Disability

In some disability cases, there is no medical evidence to establish the date on which the claimant first became disabled because he or she delayed seeking medical treatment or the medical records are unavailable.  In these situations, your Ocala Social Security disability attorney can present testimony by family members, friends or former co-workers regarding the onset date of the disability.

To prove you are disabled, you may have to present evidence that you are incapable of performing your past relevant work—generally any job you had within the past 15 years for longer than 30 days.  The Social Security Administration regulations provide that your employer or other person who knows about your work, such as a member of your family or a co-worker, can testify about what the job involved and his or her observations of how you were unable to do it.

For an evaluation of your case and whether lay testimony can help you succeed in obtaining benefits, contact dedicated Ocala Social Security disability lawyer Claudeth J. Henry.  The consultation is free.

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