We represent people for social security disability claims. A broad overview of the claims-making process begins with whatever condition a person believes disables them from work.
There are certain conditions that are disabling as a matter of law. Federal law controls the decisions that Federal Administrative Law judges make and guides their determinations as to a particular person’s disability. The imposition of a limiting condition (can’t lift over 25 pounds due to a back injury) might very well disable a warehouse worker but not a dentist. Same condition, different result.
The Commissioner of the Social Security Administration reserves the right to determine disability. Quite simply, that means that although a medical condition with limitations is important to the determination of disability, the judge makes the decision, not the doctor. As would be expected, objective medical findings based on x-rays, MRIs, EKGs, and other diagnostic tests are important to proving disability. Subjective claims of pain and discomfort are not as persuasive as an objective finding verified by a physician.
Social Security has a schedule that begins at age 44. It becomes easier to satisfy the requirements of disability at ages 50, 55, and 60. Social Security will compare your “functional capacity” to work that a person did over the past 15 years. If a person is a younger individual, the court looks at all work they could do in the regional or national economy. If a person is closely approaching advanced age or 55 or older, the court looks at the work they actually did in the past.
Physical or mental difficulties leave a residual functional capacity. In other words, even though a person has problems, they can probably still do some things such as going out to eat or to church. These forms are known as RFC forms and these address the limitations a person has, as determined or estimated by their doctor. A doctor needs to fill them out. Those forms are important to judges when they evaluate cases. If anyone needs one of these forms, contact us, and we will be glad to give you one.
Buckle up, drive safely, and as always, your referrals are appreciated!