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Questions Asked During a Disability Hearing

In a typical disability hearing the judge and your attorney will take your testimony.  The questions they will ask fall into four broad categories: 1) background information, 2) work history, 3) medical conditions and symptoms, and 4) activities of daily living. Background questions provide the judge general information about you.  This includes items such as […]

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What Does Social Security Mean by “Other Work”?

If Social Security does not believe that you meet or equal a disability listing or are disabled under a grid rule, they will award your case only if they believe you cannot do your past work or “other work”. What kinds of jobs does Social Security look at to decide if you can do other […]

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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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Is it OK to Work while Receiving Social Security Disability?

While it is best for your case that you are not working at all during the application process, this is sometimes impossible due to your financial obligations.  Working does not necessarily cause you to either lose a social security disability case or cause you to lose benefits you may already be receiving, as long as […]

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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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Working Isn’t the Only Way to Feel Good About Yourself

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I have heard about many struggles in my time working with disabled folks, but one of the most consistent things I hear my clients worry about is their inability to work, and how that makes them feel.  Many people, especially men (but some women too), put a lot of their self worth into their ability […]

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