Social Security Disability Claims
The Social Security Disability program was established as an entitlement to workers who accumulated sufficient work credits to receive an income source if injuries prevent them from competing in the open job market.
Approval under Social Security Disability is subject to a five step process under 20 C.F.R. § 416.920. First, the disabled person must not be engaged in substantial gainful activity or work. Second, the individual must have disabling impairments or medical conditions that basically prevent them from working. Third, if the disability meets a Social Security administration determined listed impairment, the person will qualify for disability and the process is complete. If not, the administrative law judge will move to a fourth step that determines if the disabled person is unable to perform his past relevant work. At this point, the judge will consider what type of work was performed in the past that can transfer to other jobs. Fifth, SSA has to prove, usually through the testimony of a vocational expert, that there are significant jobs in the economy that the person is able to perform based on their medical and physical limitations. If there are jobs available, the disabled person must show that he or she would not be employed based on their restrictions.
Naturally, the important determination is whether the limitations prohibit the claimant from returning to the work force:
Some of these limitations include:
- the ability to sit, stand or lie down
- the ability to move around vs. staying at one work station
- the physical limitations recommended by doctors
Social Security Disability attorney Mike Sudekum represents individuals who have been rejected at the preliminary level for benefits. When you receive your rejection for disability benefits, the time to file your appeal starts to run. You will find this information on the denial letter sent by Social Security.
When you are denied, it is essential to obtain the counsel of an experienced Social Security Disability advocate to file your appeal. Social Security attorneys will be able to highlight your limitations to the hearing officer by asking you questions and preparing you for the hearing.
If your application for Social Security Disability benefits has been rejected and you need to appeal your unfavorable decision, please contact Heartland Injury Law for a free consultation.