I am always concerned that a particular claim will not get the attention it deserves at the hearing level, due to the tremendous workload at the Social Security hearing offices. Each administrative law judge decides several hundred claims every year.
Furthermore, the medical basis for disability is often similar from one claim to another. Often, pain prevents a claimant from working, or perhaps mental impairments inhibit the claimant's ability to maintain employment. With so many similar claims decided by each judge, it is important to differentiate your claim whenever possible.
I have an upcoming hearing with a client who has an unusual story. The medical evidence is very good, and the claim should be granted at hearing. Nevertheless, I am spending a great deal of time on the claimant's story (which I can't tell you… sorry), because it is so unusual. That story will be the hook that draws the judge into the case.
When you have a claimant with a remarkable story, you need to tell the judge in a hearing memorandum. The judge will read the memorandum before the hearing, and the unique aspects of the claim will grab the judge's attention. Those unique facts can distinguish your claim, even though the basis for disability may be similar to several other cases being heard that day.