Suppose you make it all the way to final step of the Social Security Disability Insurance (“SSDI”) application process. The Social Security Administration (“SSA”) finds that you are unable to work and recognizes that you have a severe disability. You cannot return to your previous job. The final question that the SSA will try to answer before awarding you benefits is this – can you work at all?
SSDI benefits are reserved for those Americans with the most severe medical conditions and disabilities, those unable to perform any work at all without terrible pain. Perhaps you spent years working in the construction business but then suffered a bad back injury. You may not be able to lift 50-pound bags anymore, but, if you can sit at a desk and type without pain, the SSA will likely not award you disability benefits because you are able to perform some type of work.
The SSA performs a broad assessment of your ability to work. If you reach the stage at which you have a hearing before an administrative law judge, you and the SSA will likely have medical and vocational experts thoroughly examine you to determine what you are capable of. Experts will testify about your ability to sit, stand and walk, to reach with your arms, and to work in a variety of jobs. If you are unable to perform any job, the SSA will begin paying you SSDI benefits. If you can perform some work, even if it is substantially different from what you did in the past, you will be unable to receive disability benefits.
Have you gone through examinations with vocational experts for disability benefits evaluation? What types of work were you evaluated for?
Troutman & Troutman, P.C. – Tulsa Social Security disability lawyers