SSDI Denials And Other Jobs

Law Blog

Being unable to work at your job may mean applying for Social Security Disability Insurance (SSDI) benefits. However, many people are denied and must file an appeal. At the appeal hearing, claimants must plead their case before an administrative law judge (ALJ) and a vocational expert. Read on and learn why appearing at a hearing without a Social Security lawyer could mean a second denial of benefits based on the "other jobs" premise.

What Are Other Jobs?

The Social Security Administration (SSA) not only evaluates whether you can work at your most recent job but also at any other job. Theoretically, the other job must be in the same geographical area and be suitable for a claimant given their medical condition. The vocational expert is there to advise the ALJ on what might be a suitable job for the claimants. However, the vocation expert is not a doctor so may not recommend jobs that take into account the claimant's medical condition. Another problem is that the jobs suggested may not be appropriate for the claimant.

Why Are the Other Suggest Jobs So Wrong for Claimants?

Unfortunately, the vocational expert must use an outdated book as their reference point. The Dictionary of Occupational Titles was last updated in the 1990s — over 20 years ago. Things have changed when it comes to jobs since. The biggest problem is that the vocational expert may recommend jobs that don't exist in real life anymore. If you have a Social Security lawyer there to help you, they can supply more updated information about any job the SSA suggests you can do.

Using an outdated reference manual can also mean that the jobs, even if they still exist, are almost always more technical now than they were in the nineties. More and more occupations require the use of computers, tablets, and smartphones. However, none of that is likely to be mentioned in the handbook the vocational expert uses.

What Your Lawyer Can Do

Social Security lawyers understand the situation a lot better than the vocational expert that works for the SSA. They can point out the discrepancies in the recommendations for other jobs, which will lead to claimants being paid the benefits they need. Here is what to expect from your Social Security lawyer:

  • They will plan for the hearing by researching your job and the likely suggestions, so they are prepared to counter the expert's suggestions to the ALJ.
  • They will come to the hearing armed with your medical records and information about how your impairment makes it impossible to work at any job in the area.

Speak to a Social Security disability lawyer and find out more.


1 June 2022

Dealing with Estate Planning When You're Single

Too many single people assume they don't need to plan their estate. My brother fell into this category, and his unexpected passing left our entire family struggling to deal with his home, belongings, and financial accounts. It took nearly three years for the courts to set up a deal because he left no paperwork detailing how he wanted his estate divided. The situation immediately convinced me to work on my own estate, even though I'm still in my early 30's and don't have children or a spouse to worry about. Since it's a little harder to pick beneficiaries and estate managers when you're single, I collected the resources I used for making my own decisions and decided to publish them here on my blog. Use these resources before talking to an estate planning attorney so you're prepared for making hard decisions.