Be Your Own Best Advocate at Your Charlotte, North Carolina Social Security Disability Benefits Hearing

For more on issues that could jeopardize your claim, contact a Charlotte Social Security disability lawyer with Bridgman Law Office at (704) 815-6055.

Charlotte, North Carolina residents seeking disability benefits are often dealing with pain. Unlike a medical diagnosis or test that can be documented and verified, pain is largely subjective. It is a symptom of your condition that is hard to quantify or qualify. Your disability benefits hearing is your chance to tell the Administrative Law Judge about the disabling nature of your pain and to persuade the Social Security Administration to award you disability benefits.

Describe your pain precisely and honestly.

To make the most of this opportunity, your testimony about your pain must be precise, detailed and honest. Do not exaggerate or minimize your pain. Try to give specific examples of the following:

Nature and intensity of pain

Use detailed examples to paint a picture of how your pain affects your daily life: Does it keep you in bed, drop you to your knees, cause you to faint or go to the emergency room? How intense is the pain on a scale of 1 (no pain) to 10 (the worst pain you've ever experienced)? Does the pain vary in intensity? If so, does it vary hour-to-hour, day-to-day, week-to-week?

Location of pain

Where does it hurt? Does the pain move from one part of your body to another? For example, does it radiate from your lower back down to your leg?

Duration of pain

How long does the pain last? Describe the typical duration of the pain and then any exceptions to that typical duration. For example: "Usually, the pain lasts for about a day. I have had times, though, where it lasts for only half a day, and twice in the last few months, it was so bad that I couldn't get out of bed for almost a week."

Frequency of pain

How often do you have pain? Do not tell the Administrative Law Judge that you "always" have pain or that it "comes and goes." Be specific. How often do you have pain in a typical week? Do you have days or weeks without pain? How often?

Precipitating factors: What triggers the pain?

Aggravating factors: What makes the pain worse?