Many of my clients need an assistive device to get around more easily. The need for a cane, crutches, walker, or wheelchair may be necessary to walk even the shortest of distances. Asking if you need to bring one of these items to your Social Security Disability Insurance (SSDI) and/or Supplemental Security Income (SSI) hearing should not even be a question. You either need this type of assistance or you do not. The inability to ambulate effectively is necessary to fulfill a wide variety of jobs above the sedentary (Sitting) exertional level. The need for such an item can erode the job base and can enhance your chances of winning your claim.
Is it good enough just to go pick up a cane at the local pharmacy without a prescription or maybe borrow one from a relative? Many Administrative Law Judges (ALJ’s) will require you to have a prescription for an assistive device from your treating physician in order to recognize it as being medically necessary. Many judges will not acknowledge the need for a cane without a physician stating it is necessary even though you may have been using it for years. Documentation from treating sources can be key in a successful Social Security disability claim.
Any medical source statements showing your inability to stand or walk for any extended duration may also convince the SSA that you are unable to perform certain types of occupations. As you age, and at the same time, have never engaged in or acquired transferable skills to a sitting occupation the SSA may find you disabled pertaining to medical vocational guidelines they use to make a finding of disability. In Social Security’s world you inability to walk and stand can be a major factor in a finding of disability.
In summary, this blog may be no big news to you as you look for jobs with a disabling condition that impairs your ability to walk or stand. There simply are not that many available for older individuals with a high school education or less with no transferrable skills to sit down work. You can ask your Social Security disability attorney or representative questions regarding assistive devices and how they can impact your disability claim to better understand the full impact of assistive devices.
Filed under:Evaluation Process, Qualifying Disabilities and Impairments || Tagged under: assistive devices, cane, Indiana Social Security attorney, residual functional capacity, Social security Appeals, Social Security Hearing, SSDI Hearings, SSI Hearings
Author: Scott Lewis