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January 3, 2011

Indianapolis Disability Lawyer Scott Lewis Discusses Why Your Age Matters When it Comes To Social Security Disability Benefits

Indiana residents may not all agree getting older is a good thing.  Lets face it, as we age it seems to be a bit harder to bounce back from physical problems we encounter.  As we age, we may also find it more difficult to find employment.  Believe it or not, the Social Security Administration (SSA) believes it may be more difficult for older individuals to find suitable employment.  Now, don’t be misled that the Social Security Administration (SSA) doesn’t look at various other factors when determining if your disability prevents you from working, but age is one very important factor they examine. Age is just one of the factors considered in what is known as “the grid”.  This is a table composed of various factors to help the SSA determine if your disability meets the requirements necessary to “grid out”, or be granted Social Security Disability Insurance (SSDI) or Supplemental Security Income (SSI) benefits.  Other factors include education, the skill level of past employment, and whether you are able to do sedentary, light, medium, or heavy work.  The age criteria is broken down into four categories: 18 – 44 years old considered young individuals 45 – 49 years old considered younger individuals 50 -54  years old considered approaching advanced age 55 years of age and older considered advanced age While all of the above may seem difficult to understand, the simple truth is that those individuals over 50 years of age usually benefit from the grid scenario much more than those individuals younger than 50 years of age. Those individuals over 50 years of age with unskilled work experience that is not transferable combined with a limitation of sedentary work often find themselves on the favorable end of a Social Security disability decision.  With that being said, your disabling condition is still … Continued

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July 28, 2009

Obtaining Disability Benefits with a Completed Residual Functual Capacity Assessment

A Social Security disability claimant’s Residual Functional Capacity (RFC) is the most that he/she may do despite their limitations.  The RFC Assessment is a form completed by a health care provider that states a claimant’s limitations caused by the impairment(s) that affect the claimant in a work setting.  This form can be very beneficial in obtaining Social Security Disability Insurance (SSDI) or Supplemental Security Income (SSI) benefits.  When a claimant submits their initial disability application, the claim is reviewed by a Social Security Administration’s Disability Determination Services (DDS) Examiner.  Before the examiner can make the final decision, the examiner must submit the claim to the Social Security Administration’s medical or psychological physicians to complete the RFC form.  The doctors will review the claimant’s medical records and rate the claimant’s RFC physical and mental RFC based on these records.  Often times, RFC forms completed by the SSA’s doctors are rarely of any benefit to claimant because typically they are used to support denials more often than approvals.  While the SSA may have one of their health care providers complete a RFC, it is important that individuals attempting to get disability benefits have their own medical professional complete a RFC.  Your own treating physician usually has more insight to the patient’s medical history, diagnosis, and limitations.  Indianapolis Attorney Scott D. Lewis finds a completed Residual Functional Capacity Assessment can be very helpful when appearing in front of an Administrative Law Judge (ALJ). Appearing in front of an ALJ can allows time for the claimant to get a completed RFC assessment from a doctor that has personally treated the claimant. The treating physician has a relationship history with the claimant and has provided medical care for the claimant which allows the treating doctor to have the knowledge of a claimant’s medical condition.  As long as the treating physician’s opinions are consistent with the medical records and are documented properly, the SSA should consider the treating physician’s opinion in determining … Continued

Filed under: Residual Functional Capacity
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May 12, 2009

How does Social Security Assess your Physical and Mental Limitations?

Indiana Social Security Administrative Law Judges are not alone when it comes to looking at a claimant’s limitations because of their disability.  Your impairment or disability, and any related symptoms, may cause physical and mental limitations that affect what you can do in a work setting. These limitations are called Residual Functional Capacity (RFC).   An Administrative Law Judge (ALJ) is supposed to look at your limitations due to your disability. To assess your RFC, the Social Security Administration (SSA) will look at all available medical evidence to determine what they believe your restrictions might be. The ALJ and the SSA will also consider statements and observations of your limitations by you, your family, neighbors, and friends. The SSA will consider things such as, but not limited to: How long you can sit, stand, and walk; Your inability to lift or carry objects over a certain weight; Your inability to use your hands and/or limbs for grasping, holding objects and other repetitive motions; How long you can concentrate, and/or keep up with a task; Whether you can remember and/or understand instructions; Your inability to interact with others, or work under supervision; and Various other work related restrictions. When you hire Indianapolis Social Security Attorney Scott Lewis, he understands how important a completed Residual Functional Capacity Assessment can be at the Administrative Law Judge Level. When this type of assessment is completed by your health care provider, Scott Lewis will strive to make sure it is brought to the Social Security Administration’s attention and he will argue why your restrictions prevent you from being a productive employee in the work force.

Filed under: Residual Functional Capacity
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