Most disability claims are decided on a medical-vocational basis. Sometimes too little attention is paid to the vocational part of the analysis.
I had a Social Security disability hearing recently where the administrative law judge gave the DDS residual functional capacity assessment as a hypothetical question to the vocational expert (VE) at the hearing. The VE answered that past work was precluded, and that other work would also be precluded by the functional limitations assessed by DDS. Game over. Claim granted.
Sometimes the problem with the disability determination made by DDS when evaluating a claim for disability benefits is not so much the functional limitations resulting from the claimant's medically determinable impairments, but rather than vocational consequences of those limitations.
Vocational evidence is particularly important for claimants who are 55 years or older. Those claims often focus on whether or not the claimant's past work can still be performed (and therefore, the nature of the past work is a central issue), and whether or not the claimant acquired transferable job skills.
It is not unusual to be preoccupied in the medical aspects of a case. But don't forget the vocational evidence, because you can win the case that way as well.