Witnesses, Should I Use Them?

Witnesses can help your social security disability case. Though witnesses to do not guarantee a victory, they have seen the way your disability has affected your life. Thus, a good witness can provide evidence to make your case strong.

Choosing the right witnesses

Remember, your witness will testify without you present. Make sure that your witness fully understands your limitations. If your witness provides a testimony that is contrary to yours, it can damage your credibility or cause you to lose your case. A good witness could be:

  • Parents, spouses, partners, or friends who are in close, or daily contact with you. These people know you personally and can testify to how your disability has affected you. Make sure their testimonies coincide with yours. For example, if you have trouble getting dressed in the morning because of your disability, choose the witness who has helped you get dressed; they have first hand experience.
  • Your doctor. Claimants rarely use their doctor as a witness. However, your doctor’s opinion has “controlling weight”, meaning its the most influential. A doctor who sees you often, may know your condition better than anyone. Be sure to include your doctor on the witness list. If not, your case might be postponed.
  • An employer. An employer could be a good witness because they have seen you work. They can testify how your disability has affected your ability to perform the tasks of your job. Because most cases are won because a judge thinks you can’t work, having an employer testify that you can’t, could hold a lot of weight.

Using witnesses in the claims process.

If you plan on using witnesses, you should inform the Social Security office as soon as possible. Your witness will not be permitted to testify if he or she shows up unannounced the day of the hearing. Quantity does not mean quality. Don’t burden the judge with a handful of witnesses who will testify the same thing. 2 or 3 witnesses works best.

Call Summit Disability for help. At Summit Disability, we know how challenging it is to receive SSDI benefits. We will help you find the right witnesses to give you the support you need to win your case. You don’t need to fight this alone.