Meridian Disability Lawyers
Meridian Disability Lawyers
MERIDIAN, ID – If you are living with limitations because of a medical condition that make it hard for you to get through the day, let alone work, you may qualify for Social Security Disability based on a reduced capacity to work. A good disability attorney can help you to decide if applying for disability benefits is right for you. Be sure the person you contact is a social security disability attorney and not a non-lawyer representative. A non-lawyer will charge you the same but does not have the legal training a disability lawyer has.
Meridian Disability Attorney – Work Categories
There are several categories of work based on physical abilities that are important to most jobs. They are sedentary, light, medium, heavy and very heavy. The physical requirements for each of these categories differs, as does the kind and number of jobs available to you. Social Security will assess your physical abilities and assign you one the above categories. They will then look at other factors such as your age, weight, education, etc. to try to determine if there are any jobs you can perform. Here are the
physical requirements for the different categories of work.
Very Heavy—You will be capable of very heavy work if you have no restrictions on lifting and carrying. Jobs in the Very Heavy, Heavy and Medium work require that you have the ability to frequently stoop and crouch, but fine manual dexterity is typically not required except for some skilled and semi-skilled jobs. Reaching, handling, feeling, climbing, balancing, kneeling, crawling, etc are all considered when evaluating your ability to perform Very Heavy to Medium work. Use of a cane will also preclude most work at the Very Heavy, Heavy and Medium work levels, largely due to the lifting and carrying requirements.
Heavy Work—must be able to lift at least 100 pounds occasionally and 50 pounds frequently. You will also need to be able to stand for 6 hours of an 8 hour work day and have no significant limitations in the areas described in Very Heavy work above.
Medium Work—must be able to lift at least 50 pounds occasionally and 25 pounds frequently. You will also need to be able to stand for 6 hours of an 8 hour work day and have no significant limitations in the areas described in Very Heavy work above.
Light Work—must be able to lift at least 20 pounds occasionally and 10 pounds frequently. You will also need to be able to stand for 6 hours of an 8 hour work day and have no significant limitations in the areas described in Very Heavy work above. Crouching and stooping will not be required and the loss of fine manual dexterity becomes a problem for many light work positions.
Sedentary Work—must be able to lift 10 pounds. If you can’t lift or carry more than a couple of pounds, there would be very few jobs available to you even in the sedentary work category. A big difference between the sedentary work level and the others listed above is the requirement that you be able to sit at least 6 hours a day and stand at least 2 hours a day. Another difference is that postural limitations don’t really matter, but fine dexterity becomes very important. The use of a cane is only really important if it involves both legs. The ability to see well is more important at the sedentary level. The ability o reach, handle and feel, communicate, etc continue to be important factors.
Meridian Disability Attorney – SSDI Work Rules
What level of work Social Security finds you capable of performing is very important, as is your age and past work. Social Security as established a set of rules for when to find someone disabled based on their level of work ability, age and past work experience, etc. For example, if you are 55 years old, have done only heavy work all of your life and Social Security finds that you are capable of doing only sedentary work, you will be found disabled. But if you are 45 years old under the same scenario, you will be found not disabled.
If you think you are disabled and unable to work, call a local Meridian disability attorney and explain your situation. A good social security disability attorney will be able to help you decide if applying for Social Security Disability benefits is right for you. An experienced social security attorney can will be able to tell you what steps you can take to maximize your chances that a judge will see your limitations and find you disabled. Call us or request a free consultation. We don’t get paid unless we win!
Originally posted 2013-03-12 04:28:58.
MERIDIAN, ID – Our Meridian Disability Lawyers understand that in order to be found disabled under Social Security Disability guidelines, you must have a medically determinable impairment and limitations severe enough to prevent you from working. The focus of this article is the importance of credibility in establishing your limitations. For more information on what a medically determinable impairment is, please see “Medically Determinable Impairments.”
If you are wondering if your limitations are sufficient to qualify you for disability, you should contact a Social Security disability attorney. Make sure it is a disability lawyer as not all lawyers understand disability law. If a social security attorney wants to charge you more than 25% of your back payments or wants a retainer—they are not the attorney for you. Make sure you contact actual disability lawyers and NOT a non-lawyer representative—whoever you contact, ask if they are a licensed disability lawyer. A non-lawyer hasn’t had any legal training, and they charge the same as disability lawyers, so why would you not use a real social security lawyer?
Meridian Disability Lawyers – How Social Security Evaluates Credibility
Because your credibility is so critical to your disability application, it is well worthwhile to take a look at the factors Social Security looks at to determine if they will believe what you are saying. These are mostly common sense types of things, but unless you take a moment to think about them, you may inadvertently say or do things that create the impression that you are less than trustworthy.
Your credibility is all you have when establishing symptoms such as pain, fatigue, shortness of breath, weakness, anxiety or nervousness, etc. Social Security has established a two step process for evaluating your credibility: 1) they look at whether your symptoms are similar to those that would be expected from someone with your condition and with your objective medical evidence, and 2) the judge will look at and evaluate the credibility of your statements regarding the intensity, persistence and limiting
effects of your condition.
The adjudicator must consider whether there is an underlying medically determinable impairment that could reasonably cause the pain you are complaining of. “Medically determinable” means that you condition can be demonstrated by MRI, Xray, lab results or objective clinical evidence. For example, if you are complaining of back pain, it is extremely helpful to have an MRI that shows your nerves in your back are compressed and would likely be causing you severe pain. If there is no medically determinable
impairment, or the if the symptoms you are complaining of can not reasonably be expected come from your medically determinable impairment, then the rules say that you cannot be found disabled. (As a practical matter, judges rarely decide there is not medically determinable impairment and instead look at the severity of the symptoms.)
Our disability lawyers understand that once a judge has determined that you have a medically determinable impairment that could reasonably produce your symptoms, the judge will decide if your symptoms are severe enough to find you disabled. A judge will look at the intensity, persistence, or functionally limiting effects of pain or other symptoms. If your symptoms are supported by the objective medical evidence, a just may not spend a lot of time thinking about your credibility. On the other hand, if the objective medical evidence is lacking, a judge will have to go through credibility analysis to carefully weigh whether your symptoms are as severe as you say they are based on the entire case record.
Disability Lawyers – Disability Analysis Questions
Social Security does recognize that your symptoms can sometimes be more severe than the objective medical evidence suggests. When this is the case, a judge can look at the following to try to find support for your claims:
- The location, duration, frequency and intensity of your symptoms
- What causes your symptoms to get worse
- What medications you are taking and in what dosages
- What treatments you have received for your symptoms
- Any measures you take to limit your pain, such as lying sleeping on a board, elevating your feet, etc.
A judge will look at the above factors, and any other factors they want to really, and determine the extent to which your symptoms limit your ability to do basic work activities.
Contact our Meridian disability lawyers office today if you need assistance in applying for your disability benefits. Our disability lawyers can help you establish what may be lacking in your case and help you to prepare your case so that you have the best possible chance for success.
Originally posted 2013-02-22 06:26:15.
MERIDIAN, ID – Social security attorneys know that, unfortunately, once your disability claim has been approved, you aren’t automatically guaranteed benefits for the rest of your life. The Social Security Administration will periodically look at your case to make sure that you are still disabled. If you need help with this process or if you have questions, you can contact one of our Social Security attorneys for Meridian, Idaho.
The Social Security administration has two types of reviews. One is a medical continuing disability review that determines if the claimant still meets the medical requirements to collect disability benefits. The second is the work continuing disability review, where Social Security will look at the claimant’s earnings to see if he or she is still eligible. How often a case is reviewed varies from claimant to claimant. If the claimant has a medical condition that is expected to improve, they may be reviewed as soon as six to eighteen months. On the other hand, if the medical condition is not expected to improve, it might be as long as seven years before the case is reviewed. If it is possible that the claimant will improve, then his or her case will probably be reviewed around the three year mark. Children who receive disability benefits will automatically be reviewed once they turn eighteen.
A continuing disability review can also be triggered. It may be triggered if you return to work, if you inform the Social Security administration that your condition has improved, a new treatment pertaining to your disability has recently been introduced, if someone informs Social Security that you are not following your treatment protocol or if your medical evidence indicates that your condition has improved. When you receive the continuing disability review, it’s important that you fill them out and return them. Social Security will send you a second notice. After that, however, if you don’t fill it out or if you don’t attend any examinations that Social Security schedules, you will lose your benefits. Call our social security attorneys if you have any questions regarding this point.
If your disability claim is up for review, you will first receive a notice by mail. The Social Security administration will have you fill out some paperwork describing what your current condition is. They will also ask you for a list of all he places where you have received treatment. Just like when you were first applying for benefits, Social Security will get copies of all your recent medical records. If you haven’t been seeing the doctor or if you don’t have enough medical records, they will schedule you for a Consultative Exam. For this reason, it is important that you continue to see a doctor, even after you have been awarded Social Security disability benefits.
It’s better if you are seen by someone who is familiar with you and your disability than to have your case reviewed by a Social Security employee. When you do visit the doctor, be sure that you describe your symptoms in every visit, and be as truthful as you can. Don’t exaggerate your symptoms, but don’t understate them either. If your symptoms haven’t approved, then your disability benefits will continue. However, if your symptoms have improved, then Social Security will look to see if they still meet the disability requirements.
Social Security tries to reward people who are trying to work despite their disability, so you can still work and receive disability benefits. However, you are responsible for informing the Social Security administration when you return to work, when your duties or pay change or when you start paying for work expenses due to your disability.
You can still work as long as you follow certain rules. You can go over the Substantial Gainful activity limit if it’s during a trail work period. There is also something called the Ticket to Work Program that can help you attempt working again without fear of losing your benefits.
When the time for your case to be reviewed does come, don’t worry too much. In general, it’s easier to pass a continuing disability review than it is to be granted benefits in the first place. If your benefits do stop, then you can appeal the claim. For help with this or any other step in the process, you can contact one of our Social Security attorneys for Meridian, ID.
Originally posted 2013-07-19 03:16:23.
MERIDIAN, ID – Disability Attorneys understand that in order to qualify for Social Security disability, you must prove that not only are you incapable of working at your current job, but that you can’t do any past relevant work either. This means that your disability must keep you from returning to jobs that you may have had in the past. However, there are a few parameters that past job must meet in order to qualify as past relevant work. There are a lot of complexities when it comes to determining this. One of our Social Security disability attorneys in Meridian, Idaho can help you develop the best course of action for getting you the benefits you want.
It’s important to know what makes a job qualify as past relevant work. First, the job must have been performed within the last fifteen years (if you are no longer insured, then fifteen years since the date that you were last insured). Second, the job must have been substantial gainful activity. To find out more about the substantial gainful activity limit, please see the article title Frequently Asked Questions about Social Security Disability. Lastly, the job must have lasted long enough that the claimant developed the ability needed for average performance in the job. If your job resulted in an unsuccessful work attempt, then it isn’t relevant work.
For example, a claimant was a cement worker in the past and was required to lift up to a hundred pounds, and then had an automobile accident that severely injured him. According to his doctor, he is no longer able to lift anything larger than twenty pounds. He is no longer able to go back to work in cement because he simply can’t lift enough.
In a different case, our claimant may have done a desk job. Because his job is sedentary, it doesn’t matter if he can’t lift more than twenty pounds. He can return to past work, so a judge wouldn’t find him disabled. If Social Security decides that you are incapable of past work, then the next step is to prove that you can’t do any other work either. When making this decision, Social Security looks at your physical and mental limitations as well as your age, education and work experience. If we look at our cement worker who got in an automobile accident, for example, the judge would consider whether or not there was any other work that he could do. Even though he can’t lift any more than twenty pounds, he might still be able to do a desk job or some other sedentary work. If he has the education and mental capacity to do such a job, then the judge will expect him to do it.
Unfortunately, the Social Security administration says that if you can do past relevant work, then you aren’t disabled. It doesn’t matter whether the job you once did exists anymore or not. The good news is that, depending on your age, there may be a few rules of Social Security that might make it easier for you to get disability benefits. After you reach the age of fifty, there are age groups for which Social Security makes it easier to receive disability benefits.
The first important age group is between fifty and fifty four. Basically, if you are in this age group and your past work was not skilled or semi-skilled, then you can be approved for disability, even if you are able to perform sedentary work. If you can’t speak English or are illiterate and don’t have any past relevant work, you can be approved even if you are able to perform light work. Between age fifty and fifty nine, you can be approved even if you are still capable of performing light work. You can even be approved if you can perform medium work if you have an education of eleventh grade or lower and no past relevant work.
The next age group is between sixty and sixty four. You can get on disability even if you can perform light work if you have at least a high school degree, or, if you have an eleventh grade education, if your past work involves skills that are non transferable. If you are capable of medium work and have an eleventh grade education than you can still qualify if you have an eleventh grade education and no prior work experience or if you have a sixth-grade education and your past work was unskilled.
There are many complexities when it comes to how the Social Security administration determines if you can do past relevant work or not. For help with his process, you can contact one of our Social Security disability attorneys.
Originally posted 2013-07-11 00:12:03.