Welcome! This site is written for Social Security disability claimants, for their legal representatives, and for the network of people involved in the Social Security disability claim process. I hope you find it helpful.
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When I talk with clients and potential clients, I often hear stories about their inability to find work. Unfortunately, whether or not you can realistically get hired for a job is not a consideration for Social Security disability benefits. Instead, the SSA must find that you are unable to work before you will be awarded

The ability to lift and/or carry is one of the basic building blocks of a worker's Residual Functional Capacity (RFC). However, the focus is almost always on the lifting, and it shouldn't be.

I had a conversation recently with a client with leg problems due to neuropathy. I asked about lifting 20 pounds (required

An error in the Explanation of Determination attached to your denial letter can present an opportunity for your Social Security disability attorney to practice some legal jujitsu. The error can be used to support an argument for reversal at the next stage of review. This argument is the most powerful when, but for the error in analysis

The Medical-Vocational Guidelines are used by Social Security to determine disability due to exertional impairments at step 5 of the sequential evaluation process. The guidelines, or the "grids," consider a claimant's exertional level (that's the medical part) and the claimant's age, education and work history (the vocational factors). Depending upon these medical-vocational factors, the SSA determines that a person is either disabled or not disabled.

In general, the grids are not where you want to be as a claimant, because the grids direct a finding of "not disabled" in most situations. In fact, every claimant loses under the grids until age 50 (or age 45 if unable to communicate in English).

However, the grids are a two-edged sword. Once you reach the age of 50 (and have no transferable skills or education that allows direct entry to skilled work), the grids direct a finding of "disabled" at the sedentary exertional level. The SSA presumes that the transition to unskilled sedentary work is too difficult for these claimants. At age 55, that same claimant grids "disabled" at the light exertional level.

Let's look at an example to see how the grids operate.


Continue Reading The Medical-Vocational Guidelines