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Can I represent myself and just send all my medical records to the Social Security Administration?

A-There is a saying in the Law that “He who represents himself, has a fool for a client”. No one should be un-represented at a hearing. If you show up at the hearing without being represented by a lawyer, the judge will try to persuade you to find a lawyer and reset your hearing. There is too much at stake to represent yourself. I have represented a few lawyers who became disabled and even they did not go at a hearing un-represented.

Medical records in and of themselves, do not tell the entire story of your disability. You need to have the medical records in the right format. The records do not ask questions about functional capabilities. They do not address the reasons why you can perform only light duty or sedentary work. The medical records do not go into details to state your medical conditions. These doctors do not know how to write a report and their medical records are horribly written. With all due respect to the doctors, the medical doctors ought to take a course in medical school in how to write a medical report and I will be glad to teach it for free.

You need to send a medical questionnaire to the doctor and have the doctor answer certain questions that the Social Security judge wants to hear about. Just submitting your medical records may not win your disability case. Now, sending a questionnaire to the physician costs money, but that is money well spent. Sending a Mental Residual Functional Capacity questionnaire to your psychiatrist is very much helpful. Sending this report to your medical doctor and having him confirm the findings of the FCE is a wonderful additional to your medical records and needs to be done.  There are certain things that we lawyers have learned over the years to help you win your case. Let us help you. Submitting records on your own gives you about a 10% chance to win your case. It does not matter how you testify in the hearing. If the judge does not find compelling evidence in the medical records, you will not win. 

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