Establishing The Credibility Of Your Statements About Pain And Other Symptoms
In evaluating your Social Security Disability (SSD) case, it is the duty of the disability law judge to determine if your medical condition meets the regulations under SSD laws. Many disability law judges in North Carolina and throughout the country base their decisions on information provided by your doctor and your medical records, in addition to your statements on pain and other symptoms.
From the time you fill out your application to your testimony in your disability hearing, it is important that your statements are consistent. At Bridgman Law Offices, we are a local team handling SSD claims in Charlotte and the surrounding communities, and we understand the disability laws that impact your case. We can help explain how your statements on pain and other symptoms affect your SSD case.
Remember, your medical records are objective assessments of your medical condition. These records reflect your medical tests, evaluations, medication and other issues your doctor has assessed regarding your condition. Furthermore, your medical records explain how your body reacts to certain medications and how side effects impact your ability to function. What these tests may not reflect is the pain you’re experiencing every day. As your attorneys, we can make sure your statements regarding day-to-day pain are documented.
The Importance Of Testimony And Medical Records
Your testimony and your medical records should support each other. As time goes by, your medical condition may change in several ways. Your condition may worsen or you may be diagnosed with other medical conditions. It is important that the information you provide is consistent with any changes in your condition.
For example, your medical records show that you suffer from carpal tunnel syndrome in both wrists, but when you go before the judge, you say that your condition is so severe that you can’t get out of bed or walk around the house. In this case, the medical records don’t quite match the condition you’re describing. Sure, your carpal tunnel may affect more than just your ability to use your hands, but you’ll want to make sure your statement is supported with medical evidence.
As the example shows, a judge weighs how credible you are as a witness. Your SSD attorney can prepare you for going before the judge. To be balanced, don’t use absolutes when discussing your pain levels. Absolutes include words like “never” or “always.” Statements like “I never get out of bed” can be harmful to your credibility.
Everyone’s tolerance levels for pain are different, but it’s important to honestly and accurately describe your pain levels. When you talk about your pain, think about how you would describe it to your doctor. You may want to include details about how sharp the pain is or where on your body you feel shooting pain. You should also discuss what activities increase or decrease the pain levels.
Your Disability Lawyer Can Help You Properly Discuss Your Ailments
You can discuss other symptoms you experience after you take your medication, such as feelings of dizziness or drowsiness. When you exaggerate your condition or pain levels, you jeopardize the credibility of your testimony. If your medical records and your testimony do not balance out, the judge may pay less attention to your testimony.
By working together, we can ensure that your statements are consistent with your medical records. To learn more, call our Charlotte law office at 877-330-4817 or complete our online contact form. We work with people throughout North Carolina as well as in Columbia, South Carolina, and Atlanta, Georgia.