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What Social Security does not consider.

There are a lot of articles written about what factors Social Security considers when deciding a disability claim. Much less is said, however about what factors Social Security will not consider in making its determination. If you want to win your case, it is just as important to understand these much less discussed factors. Below are several examples:

1. I am able to work but cannot find a job in my area.
Social Security only considers whether your impairments prevent you from being able to work. They evaluate your ability to perform the physical and mental activities of your past work and whether you could perform other work based on your age, education, and past work experience. They do not consider the economy or whether you are able to actually get hired for the job. Social Security does not consider the following:

  • whether you would be hired,
  • whether a job opening exists,
  • whether you would be required to move,
  • whether you want to do this work,
  • whether you still have a certificate or license to do the past work.
  • transportation issues

2. My doctor has written a letter that says I am disabled.
Being “disabled” can mean many different things to many different people. As a result, Social Security regulations specify that they must determine whether you are “disabled” according to their definition. They will not consider your doctor’s statements that you are “disabled.” They will consider your doctor’s opinion regarding your limitations, i.e. how long you can stand, sit, or walk, whether you are able to concentrate, interact with others, or perform activities of daily living. These functional assessments can be critical to winning a Social Security case. An experienced attorney will be able to provide your doctor with a form to document your specific limitations.

3. I have symptoms of pain and fatigue, but no diagnosis.
In order to be found disabled, you must have a “medically determinable impairment”. A medically determinable impairment must be established by medical evidence including signs, symptoms, and laboratory findings. Your statements of fatigue and pain are not sufficient to prove your case. They must be reasonably be caused by the impairments which have been documented by a physician according to acceptable techniques.

4. I am partially disabled.
To qualify for Social Security benefits you must be disabled according to their definition. Unlike Workers Compensation or the Veterans Administration, individuals do not receive a disability rating and there is no partial disability. Either you meet the definition of disability or you do not. In addition, there are no partial benefits. Disabled individuals receive their full benefit amount or are not entitled to a benefit.

For more information about these and other factors that Social Security does not consider, contact Portnoy Disability.

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