If you've decided to help out a friend or relative by writing a witness letter for their disability claim appeal, you'll want to keep a few key details in mind. You will essentially be providing information about your friend's or relative's medical conditions before, during, and after any accident, injury, or medical procedure like a surgery, and how this affects their quality of life. A social security lawyer, such as those from Espy Metcalf & Espy PC At Law, will generally advise you to include the following four bits of information within your witness letter:

Include a description of how long you've known the claimant. This will apply to how long you knew the claimant before their injury, accident, or medical procedure that rendered them in need of disability benefits, as well as how often you see your friend or relative in any given week. You will want to describe the relationship you have with the claimant, such as being their close friend, spouse, sister-in-law, cousin, and so on. This information will be an aid in determining the claimant's appeal.

You'll need to provide information on any activities the claimant can't perform anymore. This can include housework, lifting things, sitting, standing, walking, driving, and personal hygiene tasks. If any of these activities seem to be difficult or impossible for the claimant to perform or participate in, you will need to explain those details.

You should provide any information regarding the claimant's mental health. If the claimant's mental health has been affected, you can give information regarding what you have witnessed. Mental health issues like memory loss and trouble with concentration can be noted. If you've witnessed a decline in everyday tasks such as being unable to follow a conversation, frequently needing to write things down, or being continually slower at performing daily tasks, then you'll want to be sure you report so in your letter.

You'll want to include details regarding any impairments that affect the claimant's quality of life. Include observations on how they interact with other people, how they go about their day, and if you personally see that their disability is worsening or getting better. Factors to consider with these details include things like if the claimant has to rest frequently throughout the day, if their disability inhibits their ability to perform tasks with their hands, if they're able to drive to the grocery store on their own, and if social situations have a debilitating effect on the claimant.

Remember to include only those details that you have experience with and have observed in person when you visit your friend or relative. This will give credibility to your letter and your loved one's appeal. Once examined, your letter will presented to a judge by a social security lawyer so your loved one's appeal has the best chance for approval.