Many disabled workers in Chicago run into difficulties when applying for Social Security Disability benefits. They may have trouble navigating the complex forms, or they may be unsure how to effectively appeal a denial. To help overcome these difficulties, many people choose to rely on a dedicated disability attorney for assistance.
Many people find the instructions for the SSDI or SSI applications unclear and hard to follow. For example, one portion of the application asks people about their work history. This section asks about how often they had to be on their feet, sit down, walk, lift, and things of that nature. Many applicants do not recognize that they are supposed to break that down into time limits. They may just check a box because they had to lift or they had to be on their feet.
One common mistake when filling out the application is to list their current capabilities instead of the requirements of their previous job. For example, someone may say they can only lift 10 lbs, but at their factory job, they actually had to lift 50 to 100 lbs. That portion of the application is trying to classify an individual’s past work to determine if they can return to the job. If they say they only had to lift 10 lbs at their previous job, SSA may determine they can return to work.
Additionally, the application is lengthy. People tend to take shortcuts on the answers, but this can lead to a denial. It is helpful for claimants to have someone to guide them through the process so they know what is important to highlight in the application.
A person’s doctor may advise them that they should not continue working, yet Social Security may still deny the claim. In this case, the applicant should follow their doctor’s advice and continue to receive ongoing treatment. Whether or not social security has found them disabled, it is important that an individual continues to treat with their doctor. Especially for those under the age of 50, Social Security is not only concerned with their past work but also their ability to do other jobs in the national economy.
For example, supposed a disabled worker used to have a factory job lifting 50 to 100 lbs every day. They may not be able to perform that job due to the disability, but that does not preclude them from desk jobs or small parts assembly jobs. That changes as they get older. If someone becomes disabled at age 50, for example, they may not have developed skills that can be used in a sit-down type of work environment. It becomes even less of a burden to prove when they are past the age of 55.
Overall, individuals whose claims were denied should continue with medical treatment and talk to a qualified attorney who could help frame their case in the best light. A disability lawyer may suggest the individual’s doctor fill out a residual functional capacity questionnaire. That questionnaire breaks down the claimant’s diagnoses and limitations, such as their ability to sit, stand, elevate their legs, or use their hands. Doctors are often in the best position to help claimants highlight their limitations, so a residual functional capacity assessment can be helpful.
If you encountered difficulties when applying for Social Security disability benefits, a compassionate and knowledgeable Chicago attorney may be able to help. They could compile documentation, walk you through the application process, and even appeal a denied claim, if necessary. To learn how an attorney can help in your situation, call today.