March 29, 2011

I Can’t Stand For Very Long, Can I Get Social Security Disability?

Indianapolis disability appeals attorney Scott Lewis talks to many individuals who are experiencing pain when performing jobs that require them to stand for either short or long periods of time.  There can be a variety of reasons contributing to the inability to stand, but the common theme is usually that the pain is so unbearable that the individual is forced to either sit down or lay down to alleviate it.

How does the Social Security Administration look at your inability to stand when you are attempting to receive Indiana Social Security disability benefits?  Although there are many scenarios in which standing is an issue such as light, medium, and heavy work, the Social Security Administration (SSA) may decide your inability to stand leaves you with what is termed “sedentary” occupations.  In other words a “sit down” job.  Many individuals who have found themselves reduced to sedentary jobs have no previous work experience with sedentary employment.  For example, a construction worker who suffers from a severe impairment creating the inability to stand for any length of time is usually shocked when he/she finds the Social Security Administration believes they can perform a desk job or other employment he/she has never done before.  Believe it or not, vocational experts (job experts) may testify at an Administrative Law Judge (ALJ) hearing that sedentary jobs can include packers, assemblers, surveillance system monitors and various other occupations.

Does that mean you will lose your Social Security disability claim if you cannot stand to perform work?  Not always.  Various other factors come into play that may help you in winning your claim.  What if the pain you experience while standing also continues when you are sitting?  Continuous severe pain while sitting and standing may be enough to win your Indiana Social Security disability claim.  Your age, education, and prior work experience play a very important role in establishing a disabling condition that prevents you from maintaining substantial gainful activity.  If you are an older individual with a limited education and no transferable job skills, you may find yourself receiving Social Security disability payments much easier than your younger more educated counterpart.

It is also important to remember that the Social Security Administration will consider all of your disabling conditions combined.  So let’s say you have a bad back that prevents you from standing, but the pain is not as severe when you are sitting and, unfortunately, you also suffer from major depression.  You are now reduced to a sedentary job, but cannot concentrate or make it to work on a regular basis due to depression.  The issue of major depression combined with the bad back may just be enough for a finding of disability by the Social Security Administration.

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