Other than obtaining qualified representation, which is a very important factor because the way the judge hears the case is how he’s going to review the case and what his findings are going to be in the case. It is very, very important to continue to see doctors and develop the medical record. A claimant will say anything in order to get disability, or so the judge thinks. Therefore, most of what the claimant says is kind of going to be disregarded by the judge in making the determination. The judge is going to look at the objective medical evidence: the x-rays, the nerve studies, the MRI’s, the record of treating physicians in making a decision. I have clients who come to me periodically and I say, “When is the last time you saw a doctor?” They say, “I saw a doctor three years ago.” I advise them that they must immediately return and see a doctor, if not that doctor, another doctor, because we have to present good medical records. The single most important factor is the medical record and it must be adequate.
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