In this blog, an experienced Ocala Social Security disability attorney explains how the Social Security Administration assesses testimony from lay witnesses.
Part of your Ocala Social Security disability lawyer’s responsibility is to assist you in choosing witnesses whose statements will be of benefit to you at your hearing and ensuring that they are adequately prepared to testify. Many of these people will be lay witnesses in that they are not professional experts. They may be relatives, colleagues or friends, and their statements can have considerable impact on your case.
The SSA has this to say with regard to how they view the statements of non-expert witnesses: “it would be appropriate to consider such factors as the nature and extent of the relationship, whether the evidence is consistent with other evidence, and any other factors that tend to support or refute the evidence.”
Not all administrative law judges place the same value on lay testimony as the SSA does. The SSA looks at lay testimony as a valuable means of gaining an appreciation for the claims of the client. ALJs, on the other hand, have been known to dismiss lay witness testimony as unimportant or ignore it entirely. Courts at the federal level have overruled them by sending such cases back and have on at least one occasion considered the testimony of lay witnesses sufficiently pertinent to award benefits when the ALJ disregarded their contribution.
Your Ocala Social Security disability lawyer can be your strongest ally as you make your way through the process of filing a disability claim with the Social Security Administration. Contact the CJ Henry Law Firm, PLLC by calling 352.304.5300 today.