When it comes to presenting your claim for Social Security disability benefits before an administrative law judge (ALJ) at a hearing, the more details and information you can provide about the debilitating qualities of your condition, the better. One way to do this is to ask close friends and family to write a letter on your behalf in support of your disability claim.
The Phoenix disability benefits lawyers at Dayes Law Firm PC are experienced in guiding applicants through the appeals process. We can help you appeal your claim and get the benefits you need.
Although ALJs often disregard this information, if they are done correctly, a well-crafted and persuasive letter can help your claim. Below are a few things to keep in mind when asking for a letter.
Ask the people who help you When considering who to ask for a letter in support of your disability case, only ask those who know your condition well and have seen first-hand how your condition affects your daily and work-related activities. For example, if you require regular assistance to perform everyday tasks such as cleaning your home, going grocery shopping and going to doctors appointments, this information could be influential in an administrative law judges decision. Ask your friend or family member to describe what it is they do for you and how often they help you.
Ask your coworkers and former employer If former coworkers or supervisors witnessed the ways in which your disability affected your work, consider asking them to write a letter on your behalf. An ALJ is more likely to consider your letter if it provides detailed information from those who witnessed how difficult it was for you to complete work-related tasks.
Short letters Quality over quantity is key here. ALJs frequently hear numerous cases and do not want to wade through lengthy letters to identify information that is relevant to your case.
Notarize and review You should have each person who writes a letter on your behalf have their letter notarized to prove its authenticity. Additionally, your attorney should look over the letters before an ALJ sees them. Your disability lawyer will check to ensure the letters will not hurt your case in any way.
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