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January 1, 2012

Social Security Disability

Social Security Disability is governed by the Social Security Act, but it is defined by multiple sets of regulations, such as the Listings of Impairments, the Medical-Vocational Guidelines, as well as interpretive rulings and memoranda.  Although many people think that they will win just because they have a certain diagnosis, that is almost never true. A doctor’s opinion that you can’t work, with no specifics, or a vague opinion that says that you can’t stand, sit or walk for long periods or lift much weight will not be given any serious consideration. In order for your claim to be given fair consideration, it is necessary to have a doctor’s opinion, which outlines specifically how long you can stand, walk and sit at one time, as well as how long you can sit in an eight-hour day and how long you can be on your feet in an eight-hour day. That should not reflect your abilities on an good day, but what you can do on Monday, and again on Tuesday, Wednesday, Thursday and Friday. If you need to lie down during the day, a specific opinion on how long you need to lie down, and how many times is important. The same is true if you need to elevate your legs, as well as specific information whether you can use a footstool, or if you feet need to be at waist or heart level. There is much more information on this site concerning the specifics of a claim for Social Security Disability, but an attorney who is well-versed in the requirements and the hearing process is almost always essential.

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