When I am representing a Claimant before the Social Security Administration, I know I have a strong case if I am able to back up his or her claims with strong medical evidence and my client is credible when testifying as to his or her disabling conditions.
There is no substitute for strong medical evidence. Many Claimants struggle with this because by the time they are eligible to qualify for Social Security disability benefits, they have used all their savings due to lack of income. So, many have to choose the last alternative available for medical care, which usually involves walking into the emergency room at a county hospital. The problem here is that while there are medical records to back up their claim, records from a private and individual doctor are oftentimes better and can help the Court completely understand the symptoms and conditions limiting someone from working.
There is another reason why individual doctors are better, in that they oftentimes agree to help their patient qualify for disability benefits. Many times I ask individual doctors to perform a residual functional capacity exam of their patient and present it as evidence to Social Security, which further defines how my client is unable to work.
What also helps a disability case is the credibility of the Claimant. It is often a scary experience to go to a hearing and testifying how your conditions limit your ability to work. However, being yourself and explaining how your conditions limit your ability to do so is often critical in the determination of your case. It is important not to exaggerate your issues. Remember, the Court has heard every story before you were able to tell yours. Social Security judges can easily tell when a Claimant's testimony does not match the medical evidence presented. If this is so, it throws the Claimant's credibility into doubt, which could ultimately lead to a denial of benefits.