Do I Need To Call Witnesses For My Social Security Disability Hearing?

At your Social Security Disability hearing, you will get the opportunity to call witnesses to present testimony on your medical condition.

Although you are entitled to call witnesses, it’s generally not necessary. The reason is simple.

Unlike other types of cases where you would naturally want to call witnesses to corroborate what you are saying, in a typical Social Security Disability hearing, all of the support needed for your testimony can or should be in your medical records or other documentation you file as part of your benefits appeal.

Additionally, if an administrative law judge is not persuaded by your testimony, they are not likely to be persuaded by the testimony of a family member or close friend on the same subject.

Situations Where a Witness Could Help Your Disability Benefits Claim

The circumstances that would make me as a disability lawyer want to use a witness are situations where the witness can provide information or a perspective that is different from your testimony.

There are three types of cases during which I almost always call witnesses in disability hearings.

They are:

  • Severe Cognitive Impairment: It is very common for people’s memories to fade as they age. It is also rather common for people to have significant memory issues as a side effect to medications. When a person has a severe cognitive impairment, it is important to have a witness to discuss their observations of that person’s health problems. If this is your situation, your witness may have a perspective on your medical condition that you likely lack.
  • Seizures: If you suffer from seizures, you likely are not aware of what specifically occurs during an episode. It is therefore important to offer testimony on what other people observe during your seizures.
  • Very Young Adult Claimants: If you are a young adult claimant living with a parent or grandparent, it is important to call your family member as a witness because they likely have a different perspective on your health condition than what you can provide.

There are several other circumstances where a witness could be helpful to your case. This is something that you should discuss with your disability attorney prior to your hearing.

For more information on how to apply for Social Security disability, appeal a denial, or prepare for your hearing in Wisconsin, please contact me, Tim Geary, and my disability law firm team at Geary Disability Law.

Disclaimer: Blog entries are not intended to be a substitute for actual legal advice. It is important for a representative to understand the specific facts and circumstances of your case before they can provide you actual legal advice. If you have questions about your Social Security Disability benefits, please contact a qualified representative to discuss your case.

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