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How Social Security Evaluates Subjective Symptoms in Van Nuys

Subjective Symptoms

Are you stricken with chronic pain that affects your ability to work? Is the Social Security Administration (SSA) denying you benefits because they believe that your very real symptoms are either exaggerated or fraudulent? Do not lose hope – you may still receive the financial support you need with help from an experienced attorney.

Attorney Kenton Koszdin and his associates have been providing high quality legal representation to disabled individuals for many years. We are thoroughly familiar with the Social Security system and can help you build and present the most persuasive case possible. You may be facing an uphill battle in your quest for disability benefits, but we can give you the push you need to get the payments you deserve. Discuss your case with one of our dedicated staff by calling (800) 438-7734.

What Is Credibility and How Does It Apply to My Los Angeles Disability Claim?

The claims examiner or the administrative law judge will evaluate the credibility of your disability claim by looking at the entire case record and assessing the consistency of your statements. S/he must be able to provide specific reasons for his/her decision on your case, whether it’s rejection or approval. The examiner or judge should not deny your claim because s/he simply believed that your complaints were “not credible.”

The following factors may be considered in determining your credibility:

  • Your physician’s medical opinion
  • Whether your impairment is connected to your allegations of pain
  • Your reported daily activities
  • The frequency, duration, and intensity of your reported pain
  • The number and nature of the pain treatments you’ve attempted
  • Your work history, and
  • Statements of third parties (friends, family, co-workers)

How Can I Enhance My Credibility?

When it comes to establishing your credibility to Social Security, your greatest enemy is yourself. Do not make the common mistakes which often lead to denial. Instead, keep the following “best practices” in mind and stick to them if you want to maximize your credibility with the SSA:

  • When asked by the administrative law judge to rate your pain, answer honestly. Do not exaggerate, but do not undercut your claim by providing a low number either. If you’re in enough pain to seek disability benefits, chances are your pain is somewhere in the 6-8 region and you should answer accordingly.
  • If your pain symptoms tend to come and go, let Social Security know. Otherwise, they may become suspicious about the inconsistency between your reported activities and your claims of disabling pain.
  • Get medical treatment. It’s only logical that a person with chronic pain should be getting medical treatment. Seek help from the appropriate specialists and keep the receipts for any services provided. This way, your claim will have a lot more validity.
  • Emphasize your strong work history. It is your job to convince the SSA that you’re not a lazy individual who just wants income without having to work. A consistent record of employment can work wonders in improving your credibility, as well as positive statements from former bosses and co-workers.

It is highly advised that you consult with a Los Angeles Social Security attorney who has experience in these matters. The right one can help you paint your situation in the most favorable light and get your application for benefits approved.

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