The usual evidence in a Social Security Disability hearing is medical records, your testimony, possibly a witness, and maybe a statement from your doctor.

Other evidence is testimony from a vocational expert and at times a medical expert’s testimony.

What about photographs of your condition, or even videos of your condition?

Some Administrative Law Judges will ignore pictures or videos, MRI films, or xrays.

The rationale is they are not doctors and cannot make a medical determination, or judgment based on this type of evidence.

Other Social Security Judges are willing to look at the the pictures or videos and give them whatever weight they deem proper.

The bottom line is that it does not seem to hurt to provide photos or videos.

The type of case it may be helpful for is something such as extreme swelling of a leg, severe rashes, burn cases.

The other advantage of photos or videos is when Social Security calls in a medical expert to testify.

This will give the expert something else to study and testify regarding your condition and limitations.

Just make sure the quality of the images are good and are easy to determine the body part and in contrast to a normal extremity.

With the technology available today this should be doable.

Questions about your Social Security Disability case? Feel free to call Illinois Social Security Disability Lawyer Dirk May at 309-827-4371.

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Social Security Judges will allow witnesses in a Disability Hearing.

You have to decide whether they will help your case.

Medical records are the most important evidence in the case, however a witness may be important.

The disability hearing is only 30 minutes to 1 hour in length.

Most of the time will be spent on your testimony.

Sometimes I will use a letter from a close friend or family member to describe your limitations and how people help you out.

If seizures are involved I will usually have a witness testify.

Or if mental illness is claimed, I may call someone to testify about how it affects the person’s daily activities.

You must be careful to avoid making the Judge mad by wasting their time with unnecessary witnesses.

In any event, the witness will testify for only 5 to 10 minutes.

Questions about how Social Security Disability hearings work? Feel free to contact Illinois Social Security Disability Attorney Dirk May at 309-827-4371.


You need to be careful what you say when you testify at your Social Security Disability hearing.

Some Judges like to play the gotcha game.

Some examples:

Why are you telling me you cannot work, and you have been telling the Unemployment office you are available for work.

You claim you lost 40 pounds the last year, but the medical records show you were the same weight this time last year.

When is the last time you smoked marijuana?

When is the last time you drank alcohol?

The point is that you need to be careful when testifying.

You can explain that you thought you may be able to work part time.

You need to answer as you best recall. For instance, I believe I have lost some weight over the last year.

Do not lie about drug or alcohol use. It will come back to haunt you.

You can explain that you have sought treatment for alcohol or drug abuse.

The most important part of your Social Security Disability hearing is testifying truthfully.

If the Judge believes you are untruthful, then you have lost.

Questions about your Social Security Disability hearing? Feel free to contact Illinois Social Security Disability Attorney Dirk May at 309-827-4371.


The main part of your Social Security Disability hearing is the Judge asking you questions.

Always keep in mind that the Judge is trying to decide if you can work.

When she is asking what you do at home, she is weighing whether this translates into being able to work full time.

When she asks why you cannot work a sit down job, she is deciding whether it makes sense that you cannot do a simple job with limited lifting.

Remember that most jobs require you to be use your hands and fingers a majority of the day.

Remember that pain reduces the ability to concentrate.

Remember that if you miss more than 1 to 2 days a month you will not be able to keep your job.

The Judges questions are asked for a reason.

Your answers should explain how your problems limit your activities.

Questions about your Social Security case? Feel free to contact Illinois Social Security Disability Attorney Dirk May at 309-827-4371.


Many people will ask me if I think they will win their Disability case.

Truthfully, I cannot predict the outcome of your case.

Why not?

I have seen too many cases turn out differently than I thought they would.

It is just too unpredictable.

Each judge is different.

Each claimant is different.

The Social Security Judge may be having a bad day.

She may overlook unfavorable information in the medical records.

The Judge may feel sympathy for the disabled person.

The best I can do as a lawyer is to tell you what to expect from the Social Security Judge and the Vocational Expert.

And explain to the Judge why I think your limitations keep you from working full time.

Questions about Social Security Disability? Feel free to contact Illinois Social Security Attorney Dirk May at 309-827-4371.

What the vocational expert says during your Social Security Hearing is very important. It can make the difference between winning and losing your case.

For that reason alone I think you should seriously consider hiring a lawyer to represent you in your Social Security Disability case.

I have mentioned before that there is no cost unless you win your Social Security case, and then fees are limited to 25% of back benefits or $6,000 whichever is the lower amount. Compared to your lifetime benefits and Medicare coverage the fee is a very small amount.

The concern is that vocational expert can make it look like you had transferable skills that may not be correct, or testify that your limitations will allow you to perform a line of work that will make you not disabled.

For more information regarding Vocational experts and Social Security Disability please call me, Attorney Dirk May at 309-827-4371.

You must appeal if your Social Security Disability is denied at the initial or reconsideration stage.

Many people are denied and do not appeal.

If this happens your case will be over if you do not appeal it. You only have a limited time to appeal.

The only way to get to the hearing stage is to appeal after you are denied.

Once you reach the hearing stage you really need to have an attorney to represent you. An administrative law judge will review your case at the trial and ask you questions.

A lawyer can explain to the judge why your medical conditions limit your activities.

A lawyer can explain to the judge why your conditions meet the Social Security Disability rules and guidelines.

A lawyer can show why the witnesses who will testify that you can perform certain jobs are wrong.

Has your Social Security Disability claim been denied? Need to talk with someone? Call Central Illinois Attorney Dirk May at 309-827-4371.