City of Fort Lauderdale
The wonderful city of Ft. Lauderdale is named for General William Lauderdale, who commanded troops stationed in the area, during the Seminole Wars. However, settlement of the area by the Tequesta Indians is thousands of years old. Due to it’s numerous spectacular waterways, Ft. Lauderdale is often referred to as the “Venice of the East.” In fact, the boating industry supports over 100,000 jobs in the local economy. Several universities are in Ft. Lauderdale, including Florida International University, Florida Atlantic University and Broward State College. Las Olas Boulevard has become a dynamic cultural and entertainment location, attracting restaurants, hotels and high-rise office towers. The Ft. Lauderdale-Hollywood International Airport is a major driver of tourism and commercial activity.
Ft. Lauderdale Social Security Disability Lawyer and Attorney Randy Zeldin, Esq. represents claimants in need of legal representation for appeal of a Social Security Disability claim. All Social Security Attorney fees are regulated by Federal law. An attorney fee for any Ft. Lauderdale Social Security Disability claimant is contingent upon a successful outcome. Under Social Security law, attorneys receive 25% of any past benefits paid, with a maximum cap of $6,000.00. Attorney fees are normally withheld from a claimant’s past due benefits, by the Social Security Administration. All attorney fees must be approved by the Social Security Adjudicator or Social Security Judge, before payment is made. Costs of obtaining records are part of the contract between attorney and client.
Although the primary evidence considered by a Social Security Judge is medical evidence from treating providers, testimony by the claimant and family or friends, (often called “Lay Testimony”) can sometimes be useful. This testimony typically focuses on activities of daily living. Following are typical examples:
- Sleep. Problems with sleep can be caused by pain, mind racing, worrying, or bathroom needs.
- Bathing. Many claimants have problems either showering or bathing and may require “grab bars” or assistance.
- Dressing. Some claimants have problems buttoning or tying shoes or getting on clothing.
- Cooking and eating. Many Social Security Judges ask clients if they can cook, as cooking takes on a variety of work-like tasks.
- Dishes. Washing dishes involves standing and gripping, tasks some persons cannot complete.
- Laundry. This task involves reaching and lifting, which is impossible for individuals with severe lumbar issues.
- Driving. Due to lack of mental acuity; medical drowsiness; arthritic pain and other causes, many individuals are unable to drive.
Common “lay witnesses” include a spouse, adult children, relatives and/or close friends. Often non-family members provide the best lay witness testimony, by perception that they may be more objective than family. Examples of non-family lay witnesses include neighbors, clergy members, union members, co-workers; past employers; members of social and interest or political groups. Because lay witnesses are not experts, such testimony is best utilized to describe observations of the claimant. Examples include observations of epileptic or seizure events; difficulty walking or standing; issues of use of hands and arms (e.g. grasping objects); complaints of pain; examples of a claimant manifesting fatigue; speed or pace at which a claimant can perform tasks; observations of emotional issues such as memory, concentration social isolation, etc.
What is most important is that the claimant is believable, which always means telling the truth. Claimants must present testimony which is reasonable and consistent with the medical record from their treating physicians. Ft. Lauderdale Social Security Disability Attorney Randy Zeldin, Esq. will prepare Social Security Disability Claimants and other lay witnesses in Ft. Lauderdale, for testimony before a Social Security Judge.