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Ocala, FL 34471

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CJ Henry Law Firm, PLLC

Preparing Witnesses for Your Social Security Disability Hearing

  • Published: August 17, 2012

Prior to the hearing, your Ocala Social Security lawyer will interview your witnesses both in an effort to select the best witnesses for your case and to explain to each how their testimony can be most effective.

Preparing Witnesses versus Rehearsing Witnesses

An experienced Ocala Social Security disability lawyer knows the difference.  Rehearsed testimony tends to be trite and stilted. It is almost impossible to rehearse a witness so that the result will be testimony that does not sound rehearsed. The primary danger is that rehearsed testimony appears less believable and is given correspondingly less weight than spontaneous testimony.

The Characteristics of “Good” Testimony

The goal of the disability hearing is to present the Administrative Law Judge (ALJ) with the facts.  The best possible testimony from lay witnesses emphasizes their observations and minimizes their conclusions. For example, if your lay witness testifies that you suffer from, say, emphysema, that is merely a medical conclusion someone else has made and your witness is repeating. It is important for your witness to report his or her observations of your physical symptoms and how your daily activities are impacted. The ALJ will have other sources for medical conclusions.

Similarly, a lay witness should refrain from using the term “disabled.” Disabled has a very specific definition under Social Security law and it is for the ALJ to determine.

How an Ocala Social Security Disability Lawyer Can Help

A hearing before an ALJ is your best chance to win your disability case. CJ Henry is experienced in all Social Security matters. Call Mr. Henry’s office at (352) 304-5300 for a free case evaluation.

Claudeth Henry

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