This is a subtle point that I have come to over the past 20 years of representing social security disability applicants. Of course no one specifically tells me that they believe that they will get disability if they just show the Administrative Law Judge what a good, honest, hard-working, and needy person they are, but it comes through loud and clear in other ways. Some of the statements I hear often include:
- “I have worked since I was 14 years old”
- “I have never asked for any help from the government”
- “Don’t they really I would rather be working?”
- “Don’t they realize I would be making a lot more from working than from disability?”
I would suggest that such statements in part reflect a belief that securing disability benefits is primarily about a social security disability claimant’s credibility, honesty and need. Claimants often offer the Administrative Law Judge unsolicited statements about how bad their financial situation is, thinking that their dire need will be persuasive.
Its is true that a claimant’s credibility is important. The fact that a claimant has a good work record is positive, but is it only a very minor part of the picture. A person’s dire financial situation is of very limited use in a social security disability case, although it can tip the balance in your favor.
What is critical to winning a social security disability case is medical proof, medical support for your impairments, and a wise and experienced social security disability attorney who knows how to present these medical facts along with your testimony to provide a legal basis for the Administrative Law Judge to say “Yes” to the disability claim.