Hearsay testimony is testimony at the hearing, under oath, from someone who heard about what happened from another person or who saw or heard an incident on tape after-the-fact. Some states are prohibited by law from making a finding of fact based on only hearsay evidence. Hearsay testimony is not as credible as first-hand testimony because the person who actually witnessed what happened at the time is not testifying under oath at the hearing and therefore cannot be questioned by the hearing officer.
If the claimant appears at the hearing and denies everything, the claimant's first-hand denial almost always outweighs hearsay testimony. End result - the claimant probably wins.
Hearsay Evidence Includes:
Testimony about an interview of the people who saw what happened
Testimony about what was seen on video or heard on tape, unless the tape itself is presented as evidence
A written statement by someone who does not appear to testify
Documentation created by someone who does not appear to testify
Testimony about a complaint made by a customer
Testimony by anyone who did not see what happened, but who made a conclusion about the claimant's activities based on what they saw or heard later
As we discussed before, hearing decisions often come down to a question of credibility and greater weight will always be given to first-hand witness testimony. The hearing officer needs to decide who is the most credible to make his findings of fact. He/she uses the findings of fact to decide whether the facts support the claimant's eligibility for benefits in accordance with state law.