Spartanburg, South Carolina Disability Lawyer Explains How the Administrative Law Judge Determines Disability

At the initial and reconsideration stages of your disability determination, the Social Security Administration will make a determination of your disability based on several criteria listed in Social Security regulations. At the hearing level, the administrative law judge will conduct a fresh new investigation in order to determine whether or not you’re disabled for the purposes of Social Security disability benefits.

In this article, South Carolina disability lawyer will give you an overview of how the administrative law judge (ALJ) will determine disability. The process is complex and not readily understandable. Some things may actually run counter to common sense. Just saying that you can’t get a job is not enough; in fact, this doesn’t prove anything at all about your disability for Social Security purposes.

The disability determination that the ALJ makes is purely hypothetical: this means that being “disabled” has very little bearing on real life. It does not take into account the fact that employers refuse to hire you because of your medical issues. Instead of factoring in your ability to get hired, the Social Security Administration considers only your ability to do jobs—not only the jobs that you’ve performed in the past, but also jobs that you would never be hired for in reality.

Sometimes, an ALJ will find you disabled based solely on objective medical findings. This is rare, however; more likely than not, your Spartanburg, South Carolina disability lawyer will have to make a two-part showing. First, your attorney must prove that your impairment impedes you from doing any work activity that you’ve done in the past fifteen years. Second, your attorney has to show that, factoring in your age, education, and prior work experience, you are not able to do many other jobs.

The first part involves proving that you’re unable to perform even the easiest job that you’ve held in the past fifteen years. This is regardless of whether you’d ever be hired for this job again, your former company still exists, or the job is unavailable because of other circumstances.

The second part is quite complicated because it goes against what you would intuitively think is true. You have to prove that, taking into account your age, education, and work experience, your impairment hinders you from doing other jobs (even jobs that you know you’d never be hired for).

Unlike in workers’ compensation cases, you don’t have to prove to the ALJ that you are “totally and permanently disabled.” Instead, in the Social Security context, you only have to prove that you’ve been disabled for twelve continuous months. This doesn’t mean that you have to prove that you’re completely disabled or incapacitated, either; you need only prove that you’re unable to do jobs that exist in significant numbers in the economy.

Speak with a Knowledgeable Spartanburg Social Security Disability Attorney

If your application for Social Security disability benefits has been denied, either at the initial determination level or at the reconsideration level, consider pursuing a further appeal in a hearing before an administrative law judge. With the help of a Spartanburg disability lawyer, you will have a greater chance of succeeding on appeal. Spartanburg, South Carolina disability lawyer can help. For a free initial evaluation of your claim, call my toll free telephone number or fill out the form on this webpage.

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