The Social Security Administration (SSA) uses extensive criteria to determine whether an applicant is eligible for disability benefits. An applicant’s age, education, and work experience are some of the factors used to determine the amount of disability benefits an applicant may receive.
It is necessary to present all necessary evidence related to these three factors. This is just another example of why applicants for benefits need a disability attorney: To have the best chance of filing a disability application and receiving approval for benefits.
Social Security considers an applicant’s chronological age along with residual functional capacity, education, and work experience. It relies on tables of rules and regulations used as guides to evaluate how age, education and work experience affect an applicant’s remaining capacity for work.
In the following example, a person with this vocational profile would be found disabled according to Social Security’s tables of medical-vocational guidelines:
Education: High school education
Work Experience: No acquired job skills that may be transferred to other work he is physically able to perform.
Capacity for work:
- Can lift no more than 20 pounds for up to 1/3 of an 8-hour workday;
- Can lift up to 10 pounds for 2/3 of an 8-hour workday;
- Can stand and/or walk for about 6 or more hours in an 8-hour workday;
- Has no other limitations.
This is basically an RFC for light work. Once there is an inability to perform the past work, the person has met his initial burden of proof and we move forward in the sequential evaluation. Here, under this example, the person would be found disabled under a GRID rule.
WARNING: if this individual had job skills that could be used for other work that is within his capacity, and such work exists in significant numbers in the national marketplace, Social Security would find him not disabled. The issue here are the transferable work skills. Their very presence kills the use of the GRID rule to win the case. To win, we need to get rid of these job skills. So check out the past work carefully. Was this worker a real manager or really just a lead worker? Was the worker merely given a title yet no real responsibility? Be careful here, look at work history forms that are in the file. The may have information that will impeach your best efforts. If there really are true job skills, again, you need to neutralize them to take advantage of the GRID rule that directs a finding of disabled. You can check out Ruling 82-41 to see if the skills really transfer within the meaning of the law; or try to find an impairment that limits the worker to low-stress work, which typically rules out most semi-skilled work.
One of the best ways to make sure you understand all of the technical, legal requirements associated with a mental disorder and applying for disability benefits is to retain the services of an experienced, knowledgeable and qualified Social Security Disability attorney. Contact Sullivan Law Office today. We offer free consultations, so there is absolutely nothing to lose! We look forward to hearing from you. Call 888-587-0228 or visit us online.