Social Security and Medical Vocational Allowances
As I’ve explained, there are two ways to be eligible for Social Security Disability benefits. The first is to meet a medical listing under the Social Security Administration’s listing of impairments. Unfortunately, the listings have very strict criteria and most people don’t meet a listing.
As a result, the Social Security Administration analyzes a claim for Social Security Disability benefits by determining whether or not you are able to do the lightest job you have held in the last 15 years and whether or not you are able to do other work.
How does this work?
1. The Disability Claims Examiner assigned to your case will send medical records request letters to your various medical providers that you listed at the time of your initial application.
2. After your medical records have been received, the Disability Claims Examiner will read and evaluate them.
3. The Disability Claims Examiner will determine whether or not you have a physical or mental condition that meets the requirements of a listing. If your medical condition does not meet a listing, the Disability Claims Examiner will determine your functional capabilities based on reading your medical records.
4. The Disability Claims Examiner will submit his assessment of your Residual Functional Capacity to a staff physician who will review the form to determine what you can still do and what you are incapable of doing from a mental and/or physical standpoint.
5. The Disability Claims Examiner will review the physician-approved Residual Functional Capacity and determine whether or not your restrictions prevent you from doing the lightest job you held in the last 15 years.
6. The Disability Claims Examiner will also determine if those restrictions and limitations make it impossible for you to do other suitable work.
7. If the Disability Claims Examiner determines that you cannot return to your lightest job and that you can’t perform other suitable work, you will be approved for Social Security Disability benefits.
When the Disability Claims Examiner determines your functional limitations and compares them to the work that you did in the past and other work that might be available based on your age, education, and job skills, he is performing a medical/vocational determination.
Unfortunately, the Residual Functional Capacity determination by the Disability Claims Examiner and staff physician is rarely accurate. At The Law Offices of Nancy L. Cavey we have your treating physician complete the appropriate Residual Functional Capacity form so that the Social Security Administration has the benefit of your treating physician’s opinion about your functional capabilities. This is crucial to the success of your disability claim!
Answering these broad-based questions isn't easy. Help is a phone call away. You can contact Nancy Cavey, an experienced long-term disability attorney at 727-894-3188.