social security

Social Security Disability Claim Difficulties

Marken Law Group, PS, has helped hundreds obtains Social Security Disability benefits and Supplemental Security Income benefits. We do not charge a fee unless you obtain the benefits you deserve! Below is a short, and not all-inclusive description of some pitfalls you might experience while bringing your Social Security disability claim on your own.

First, the most pressing, and important, is YOUR responsibility to make sure YOUR medical record has been properly submitted to Social Security. When you are going to be in front of an administrative law judge, it is YOUR responsibility to obtain ALL medical records pertinent to your disability claim. Many people believe it is Social Security’s responsibility to obtain your medical records. At the hearing level, it is YOUR responsibility. Do not be misled by the fact they have obtained records previously, they likely do NOT have your complete medical file and are missing important updates! In the end the administrative law judge will be basing their decision on what is in the medical record and to offer the best chance of a favorable decision, every document needs to be in the file!

Secondly, the work history is a VERY important document, answer very carefully. You might believe the “Function Report” is the more important document but it is not. The “work history” report can very well determine whether or not you will disabled due to what is termed the “GRID Rules.” The administrative law judge and vocational expert at your hearing will be DISSECTING your work history report document to find the exertion level of the work performed in the past.

Thirdly, if your doctors write statements regarding your disability, generic statements or letters that “JOHN DOE CANNOT WORK,” will NOT work and be rejected by Social Security. What Social Security will want from your doctor is specific diagnosis and SPECIFIC opinions regarding SPECIFIC exertion limitations.

Example of an excellent doctor opinion: John Doe has diagnosis of degenerative disc disease of his lumbar spine and it is my opinion he can lift and/or carry no more than 15 pounds, can stand and/or walk no more than 2 hours in an eight hour day.

Example of a pointless doctor opinion: John Doe can’t work because of his back and hip pain.

Finally, a last pitfall is drug/alcohol use. As indicated with alcohol, this includes legal drugs such as marijuana (in some states) and opiod pain medication. If any record indicates an abuse, excessive use of these drugs, you might have a difficult time obtaining benefits. While some years ago, judges would expect you to be on opiod pain medication to substantiate your allegations of pain, it is not largely viewed as an addictive drug that is harmful to your health.

Marken Law Group, PS, does NOT charge a fee unless you obtain Social Security Disability benefits. Call today for a free consultation!