Strengthening Witness Testimony

You may have witnesses testify during your disability hearing. Though it can be a good idea to have witnesses in support of your claim, witness testimony is most helpful when it is specific. Before your hearing, you may need to discuss effective testimony with your Tennessee Social Security disability attorney.

For example, a coworker may say that a certain type of factory job is “hard work” and tell the judge that you can’t do that work anymore. The judge will likely receive your coworker’s witness statement as weak testimony. Your witness can improve the judge’s impression by providing more detail about the factory job. Your witness might need to explain the workers’ schedules and the number of permitted breaks. The witness testimony may also need to include whether you were required to sit or stand, whether you needed to lift a certain weight as part of your job duties, and whether your job tasks required hand-eye coordination.

Witness testimony may also be improved when provided by a personnel manager or another individual who supervised your work. Your manager may testify that you are now too disabled to perform your former job, even though you made the effort to do so. The judge will likely view this statement as weak testimony. To strengthen the impact of the testimony, your manager should provide additional details regarding the physical aspects of the work. Physical aspects include: a need to regularly bend or stoop, a need to lift a specified number of pounds, or a requirement to stand continuously for a specified period of time. Your manager may testify that your work was satisfactory but also explain that you could no longer hold your position due to a nervous condition leading to numerous absences from work.

Lastly, witness testimony from a company representative may be helpful to show that your former employer already made a determination of your disability. Rather than testify about your disability pay issued by the company, the representative should explain the company’s policies and procedures to determine whether a worker is disabled.

You may need the guidance of Tennessee Social Security disability attorney Mark Albert Skelton to prepare and strengthen the testimony given by your witnesses. Strong, detailed testimony may make a difference in your claim.