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Past Work: As Performed vs. As Usually Performed

Social Security will deny your claim if they believe you could do your past relevant work, either as you performed it or as it is usually performed.  Social Security looks at the information you give them in the disability forms and in testimony to understand the demands of your past work.  They use the Dictionary […]

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Limitations Erode Your Ability to Work

Limitations from your medical conditions are the basis for being found disabled under the rules of the Social Security Disability program.  For example, if you have back problems you may be unable to bend, stoop, or crouch because of limited range of motion of your back, or due to back pain.  The inability to bend, […]

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What is the DOT that the VE referred to?

DOT stands for “Dictionary of Occupational Titles”.  The DOT is a government survey by the Department of Labor, who created it to provide job information to government agencies, job seekers, and educational and training institutions.  The DOT contains over 12,000 job descriptions.  Each description gives an estimate of the mental and physical demands, skills, traits, […]

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Sustainability as an Alternate Theory

Many disabled individuals are able to do some amount of work.  You might qualify for Social Security disability benefits even if you are able to do a part time job.  Social Security looks at whether you can do a full time job to decide if you qualify for disability benefits.  They also look at whether […]

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Why Does the Disability Judge ask Hypothetical Questions to the VE?

The questions the judge asks the VE require a two step process.  First, the judge must consider how your medical conditions affect you physically and mentally by stating your residual functioning capacity (RFC).  Second, the judge looks at whether you could work despite those limitations.  The judge asks the VE hypothetical questions because they have […]

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Key Players at the Hearing: Vocational Experts

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Many individuals who are going to their Social Security hearing have never been to a hearing before and are unsure of what to expect. The way in which most people envision the hearing is generally very different from the place and manner in which the hearings are conducted. Unlike the typical television courtroom scene, a […]

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Vocational Experts: Can They Help Your Disability Case?

Vocational Experts (VEs) are intended to be impartial experts, meaning they are not out to prove or disprove your case.   Some VEs are actually independent.  They state their opinion and stick to it.  Other VEs let disability judges affect their testimony.  Judges can make it clear whether they want the VE to help them award […]

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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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