Who and What is the Disability Examiner? | Tampa Social Security Disability Lawyer

Your initial application for Social Security Disability benefits will be reviewed by disability examiner. In each of the 50 states there is a State Agency which is generally known as Disability Determination Services. This agency is responsible for handling your initial application and your Request for  Reconsideration.

Your file is assigned to a disability examiner who obtains your medical records from the medical providers you listed on your application. Once your records are received, the disability examiner will review your file and your medical records. The disability examiner will be looking for medical records that establish your physical abilities.

Since most treating doctors have not been trained to write medical reports outlining a patient’s physical abilities, it is not uncommon for the disability examiner to consult with a staff doctor in the disability unit. The staff doctor will look at your medical records and, using their medical crystal ball, determine what you are physically capable of doing-it is called “determining your residual functional capacity”. This is Social Security language for how much can you lift, how long can you stand or sit, whether you can bend at the waist etc.

Why is that important? As explained in the postings about the 5 hurdles, once your limitations are determined, the disability examiner is going to ask whether or not you can go back to the lightest job you did for the 15 years before you became disabled. If you cannot do your “past relevant work”, disability examiner will ask, at Hurdle 5, whether you perform some other work in the mythical national economy.

If the disability examiner says you can’t perform some other type of work, you win.

However, 80% of the time, the disability examiner says you can do some other type of work and denies your claim.

And, when you file your Request for Reconsideration, your claim goes back to the same State Agency that denied you in the first place. While your case goes to another claims examiner, most cases are denied again.

If is only after you get denied twice (almost always), that you can file for a hearing in front of an Administrative Law Judge… who is NOT bound by the earlier denials and who is NOT employed by the State Disability Agency.

You can improve your chances of approval by properly filing out the forms that are sent to you by explaining the limitations in your functioning from the time you get up till the time you go to bed. Paint a picture that the disability examiner and staff physician can see in their mind’s eye. Filling out these forms is difficult and you would benefit from consulting skilled attorneys Cavey & Barret.

Getting a Lawyer In Your Social Security Disability Case – What Will You Charged? | Hudson Social Security Disability Lawyer

The attorney’s fee in a Social Security case is paid from your back benefits. The fee is 25% of your back pay (called retroactive benefits) or $5300.00 The fee is capped at maximum of $5300.00.

If your attorney has paid to get copies of your medical records, paid your doctor to fill out a residual functional capacity form (RFC) or paid a vocational evaluator to testify you will, most likely, be responsible for paying back those costs. The repayment of the costs will be in addition to the fee.

If your Social Security Disability benefits are not awarded, you are not responsible for the payment of the fee but will still be responsible for the payment of costs. Since the attorney won’t be paid a fee unless your benefits are awarded, they have reason to make sure your case and the evidence is fully presented to the Social Security Administration. (SSA)

Here at Cavey & Barrett we specialize in Social Security Disability cases and we really do care. Contact us here at www.caveylaw.com or call 727-894-3188 for the help you need with your claim.

The Most Important Medical Evidence that Social Security DOES NOT Get! | Tampa Bay Social Security Disability Attorney

Since medical evidence of your functionality is the key to winning your Social Security Disability Claim you would think the Social Security Administration (SSA) would ask your doctors to comment on your functionality – what you can and can’t do – your restrictions.

SSA never asks your doctors to fill out residual physical or mental functionality forms (RFC) which are the most important piece of medical evidence you should submit. Why? I am not sure why but the fact that they don’t is something you need to be aware of!

Asking your doctor to write a letter about your restrictions and limitations or filing out a RFC is important.

The problem with asking your doctor to do that is that medical legal issues surrounding your disability may not be cut and dry. The issue of your functionality is complex and if the doctor does not understand what your are asking for or, worse yet, gives the wrong information your claim can be denied.

Obtaining information from your doctor about your functionality is best left to an attorney representing you who had a complete understanding of your case and what medical evidence should be submitted. Your attorney will send your doctor the right residual functional capacity form to compete and the right questions to answer. For more information, and for more help with your claim, click here or call 727-894-3188.

Your Social Security Claim is Toast Without the Support of Your Doctor | Clearwater Social Security Disability Attorney

Treating doctors have some strange ideas about the Social Security system and their role in helping you with your claim for Social Security benefits.

Doctors don’t learn about their role in helping their patients with Social Security claims in medical school. Most learn because their patients or the patient’s disability lawyer will ask the doctor to write a statement in support of the disability claim.

Unfortunately, some doctors will flat out refuse to write a letter. That leaves the patient with the choice of continuing to treat with a physician who they may like and who may be the best doctor to treat their condition, but who won’t help them with their Social Security Claim or finding a new doctor who will help with the Social Security Claim.

Other doctors will write a letter that says, “My patient is disabled.” The Social Security Administration (SSA) will ignore the letter because they, not your doctor, determines disability. What SSA want is a statement that outlines your current physical and/or psychiatric limitations and your functionality. What are your restrictions on lifting, bending, stooping, standing, walking? Do you need to alternate sitting or standing? How often would you be out of work per month? Do you have good days or bad days?

Better yet, your doctor should fill out a Physical or Mental Residual Functional Capacity Form. It is a check off the box type form and very easy to complete.

Functionality and not disability is the key to winning your Social Security Disability claim.

Most doctors don’t want to take the time to do a statement or fill out the Residual Functional Capacity forms (RFC) unless you pay them. The charge can be between $50.00 and $200.00 and well worth every penny, if the form is filled out properly.

We have a power point presentation we do for doctors who are interested in learning about their role in helping their patients with their Social Security Disability claims. We explain what medical benefits you are entitled to and how that will help the doctor keep you as a  patient. What a difference it makes in a doctor’s willingness to help with our Social Security Disability cases!

Ask your doctor to prepare a short statement or complete a form about your functionality. Without the support of your doctor, your Social Security Claim is toast! For more information, and for more help with your claim, click here or call 727-894-3188.

The Grids and Transferable Work Skills | Pinellas County Social Security Disability Lawyer

What is a transferable work skill? This concept creates tremendous problems in the determination of whether you are entitled to Social Security Disability benefits. If you look at the Medical-Vocational Guidelines or Grids, you will find a number of odd things.

There are Grids for Sedentary, Light and Medium work and the Grids provide that you will never be found disabled if you have skills that transfer to other jobs in the physical category that exist in the national economy in significant numbers. So, if your are restricted to sedentary work and your skills as a receptionist would transfer to the skills of a phone operator, you are not disabled.

Another odd factor is your age plays a role in transferability of skills, If you are 50 years or older and can only do sedentary work, the whole outcome of your cases depends on whether you have skills that would transfer to sedentary work. But if you are 55 years or older and only do light work, the whole outcome of your case depends on whether you skills transfer to semiskilled or skilled light work.

The older you are, the easier it is to show that you skills are not transferable to other jobs.

If your work was unskilled, SSA presumes that you have no transferable skills. Transferable skills becomes an issue if you have done semiskilled or skilled work in the past.

We will illustrate how the Grids consider of your age, education, transferable skills, and residual functional capacity (RFC) in a future posting so you can actually see how this analysis is done by SSA. For more information, and for more help with your claim, click here or call 727-894-3188.

Next Page »