Never under estimate the importance of a claimant’s work record when an administrative law judge (“ALJ”) adjudicates a Social Security Disability (“SSD”) application.
The ostensible purpose of a hearing is to enable an ALJ to assess a claimant’s credibility. Since claimants say they are disabled when they file an SSD application, if their credibility is accepted, then they are usually approved for SSD benefits. Even when a claimant has submitted objective diagnostic tests that provide strong support of disability, ALJ’s frequently hold hearings.
I represent a 55 year old former cost accountant with knee and back impairments. Even though there were a dozen supporting MRIs, and the claimant had a 40 year work record, the ALJ held a hearing. However, because the ALJ found the claimant had “a solid wage history,” he accepted the claimant’s complaints about pain and the need to lie down during the day, which the vocational expert stated precluded gainful activity.