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CJ Henry Law Firm, PLLC

How Your Spouse’s Testimony Can Help Prove Your Pain to the ALJ

  • Published: November 8, 2011

Pain is subjective so it is difficult to prove to the ALJ how bad your pain really is. If pain is a significant reason why you are unable to work, your Ocala disability lawyer may ask your spouse, or other witness who knows you very well, to testify about your pain at your Social Security disability hearing.

In testifying about your pain, your spouse or other witness must describe in detail his or her observations of how your pain has affected your life.  Testimony that: “My wife can’t work because she has a lot of pain,” won’t do much to help the judge understand how severe your pain is.  Instead, your spouse or other witness should try to describe any of the following things that he or she has observed about you:

  • Changes in your attitude or daily activities.
  • Changes in your sleeping patterns due to pain.
  • How much pain medication you take daily to try to manage the pain.
  • Changes in your appetite, weight, mobility and desire to engage in social situations.
  • Any new household tasks he or she has had to take on because of your pain, especially tasks that you once enjoyed completing.

Here is an example of the kinds of observations one spouse could make about the other’s pain:  My wife seems to be in pain all of the time.  She tosses and turns and wakes up three of four times most nights.  She has given up her bridge club because she says she can’t concentrate well enough to play.  I’ve taken over most of the housework and all the shopping and cooking.  She is taking all the pain medicine her doctor has prescribed, but it doesn’t seem to help.  She doesn’t eat very well and has lost about 10 pounds. We used to go to out to dinner with friends and to the movies a couple of times a month.  But we don’t go anymore because my wife cannot sit through a movie.

For a free evaluation of your Social Security disability case and to learn more about how testimony from your spouse and friends can help you obtain benefits, call the Ocala Social Security attorneys at the CJ Henry Law Firm.

Claudeth Henry

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