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Sometimes when Social Security denies a disability claim after an initial review, the denial letter states that the disability applicant could return to past relevant work. In addition to developing the medical evidence, these claims require a detailed look into the vocational evidence.

Social Security treats people differently based upon their vocational backgrounds.

I have had several claims granted recently at the initial level. These claims were determined quickly and favorably because (in my opinion) an attorney was involved very early in the claim process.

Fees tend to be much lower for these claims. A contingency fee is charged based upon the past due benefits, and the

Most disability claims are decided on a medical-vocational basis. Sometimes too little attention is paid to the vocational side of the analysis.

I had hearing recently that illustrated the importance of developing the vocational evidence for a disability claim. My client's sole past relevant work was a public insurance adjuster, who is a person hired by individuals to document property damage claims, and then submit the claims to insurance companies. His application for Social Security disability benefits had been denied by DDS on the theory that his "light" residual functional capacity (RFC) would allow performance of his past work as generally performed.

Whenever a claim is denied by DDS with a determination that past work can be done "as generally performed," that should raise a big red flag for the disability lawyer. 

Continue Reading Don’t Forget the Vocational Evidence