Credibility in social security disability cases is essential. Many people who apply for social security disability wonder how these decisions are made. For the most part medical records are the basis of these decisions. Sometimes they also consider the initial disability forms as well. However, many cases end up at a hearing in front of a disability judge. At this point the disability judge is basing their decision on whether the testimony is consistent with the medical file. Your disability attorney will help explain but its very important to give testimony that is consistent with the medical file. This is because every disability judge must determine if the claimant is credible.
How Credibility in Social Security Disability is Determined
For instance any given disability may cause symptoms but those symptoms must be related to a verifiable medical problem. The degree of the problem and how it affects the person’s ability to do work activity is a main question for the disability judge. When weighing the credibility of whether the person is disabled the disability judge will look at the entire social security disability file. They will weigh the opinions of the doctors, the claimant’s statements, and the objective medical evidence. If the disability judge is to find that the disability applicant is not credible they must make specific findings as to why. It is insufficient for the disability judge to simply state that they do not find the person to be credible. They must make specific findings based on the social security disability case file.
In Social Security disability cases, both SSI and SSDI, the disability judge will also consider daily activities, things that aggravate the disability, type and effectiveness of medications as well side effects, and other types of treatment. Often what will happen and what I see, as a Utah disability attorney is that the judge will find the claimant to be partially credible finding the claimant’s statements to be somewhat true, but not totally credible. Although Social Security will often compare statements at different points in the disability process it is also understood that a disability will vary intensity at different points in time. Efforts over a period of time to seek medical help to treat a disability typically support credibility in social security disability case.Sometimes disability hearings can be a trap as claimants often have not studied their social security disability records and often they claim their disabilities are more debilitating than is reflected in the medical file. What happens often in the social security disability decision is that they will be found to not be credible or only partially credible.