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CJ Henry Law Firm, PLLC

How Your Ocala Social Security Disability Lawyer Will Interact With Your Witnesses

  • Published: July 5, 2012

At your Social Security disabilty hearing, your testimony will be the most important.  However, your Ocala disability lawyer may decide that a family member, friend, neighbor, co-worker, or supervisor could provide the judge with important information about your disability.

The Social Security disability hearing is informal. Unlike court, no evidence rules need to be followed for testifying. The interaction between your Ocala Social Security disability lawyer and your witnesses at your hearing will be more like a conversation than a formal question and answer sequence.

What is expected of your witnesses at the hearing is truthful testimony concerning what they have observed about you. While the administrative law judge may ask questions, it will not be a “cross-examination” of witnesses as you may have seen on television. There will be no trick questions or questions designed to embarrass your witnesses. Rather, the administrative law judge will work to find out the facts to make an independent decision about your claim for Ocala Social Security disability benefits.

Common mistakes your witnesses should avoid

There are a few common mistakes occasionally made by witnesses when testifying. One is when a witness deliberately exaggerates the claimant’s disability and impairments, thinking that this will help the claimant win the case. Exaggeration of symptoms usually backfires because the judge simply sees through it.

Other mistakes made by witnesses happen when a witness tries to give “medical” testimony. This occurs when a lay witness offers medical conclusions that should be provided by a doctor. Similarly, witnesses who attempt to take over the role of the lawyer by arguing the claimant’s case can be a mistake. Your witnesses should not tell the judge that you are unable to work or that you should be found disabled because he or she needs help.

Rules for testifying

An Ocala Social Security disability lawyer will instruct lay witnesses that there are only a few rules for testifying:

1. Tell the truth.
2. Don’t exaggerate to try to “help” the claimant.
3. Don’t minimize either.
4. Testify only about things that you have observed.
5. It is okay to give examples and explain your answers by describing those things you have observed.
6. Leave the arguing to the claimant’s disability lawyer.

The expertise and experience of an Ocala Social Security disability lawyer is invaluable when preparing testimony from your witnesses and can be the difference between winning and losing your Florida disability case. To evaluate the facts specific to your case, contact dedicated Ocala Social Security disability lawyer Claudeth J. Henry for a free initial consultation.

Claudeth Henry

Attorney Henry is a Florida disability lawyer uniquely suited to
help you with your disability-related legal needs...Read More