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When is a Medical Condition “Severe” for Disability Eligibility

Social Security looks at your severe medical conditions in deciding your disability claim.  Deciding what conditions are severe is step two of the five step disability process. Over time Social Security has changed its view on what counts as severe.  Now the rule is almost a formality.  If a medical condition has even a minimal […]

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How do you Qualify Medically for SSD or SSI Under the Listings?

Everyone’s case is different and the method of review of your case will depend on what medical condition or group of physical and mental conditions you are alleging.   Social Security will review your entire record in detail to see what conditions are being alleged and to see how your case will be decided. They will […]

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Social Security Disability Appeals Council Review

The Appeals Council is the last level of disability decision making in the Social Security Administration.  If your disability claim is denied by a judge after a hearing you can appeal your case to the Appeals Council (AC) for a review of the hearing decision.  Most AC reviews occur because the person seeking benefits asked […]

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What are the Grids?

The Grids are a set of rules that help simplify the disability determination process.  If your case falls directly under a Grid rule then that rule determines whether your case is denied or awarded.  The Grids help older disability claimants because they recognize that it becomes harder to adjust to new and different work as […]

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Limitations That Help in Any Job Anywhere

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When you testify at your disability hearing about your limitations that contribute to your disability you should prioritize the message, and tell the Administrative Law Judge (ALJ) about your biggest problems first.  Save the minor problems for the bottom of your list to keep the judge’s attention and maintain your credibility.  You should also focus […]

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RFC (Residual Functioning Capacity): What is it?

Your residual functioning capacity (RFC) is what you can still do, both physically and mentally, despite your medical problems.  Social Security considers all of the evidence in your case to estimate your RFC.  This evidence includes your medical records, your testimony, and written statements in your application and other disability forms. An RFC is a […]

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Will I need a Disability Attorney to File my Appeal in Federal District Court?

No.  Disability claimants can appeal their case to federal court without a disability lawyer.  However, it is unlikely they will succeed.  Federal court appeals are the most complicated and difficult level of the disability claim process.  It takes much time and effort as well as thorough knowledge of disability case law and federal regulations.  As […]

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The One Year Durational Requirement

The “duration” requirement is one of the fundamental rules of Social Security Disability Law.  The Agency’s regulations state, “Unless your impairment is expected to result in death, it must have lasted or must be expected to last for a continuous period of at least 12 months.”  20 C.F.R. § 404.1509. Social Security defines “disability” as […]

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