The processing of benefit claims by the Social Security Administration is often a subjective process. This is most readily apparent when it comes to descriptions of patient symptoms, and the type of work that claimants can and can’t handle. Your Indiana Social Security disability attorney can help you understand these ambiguous areas of policy, so that you approach applying for disability benefits prepared and informed.
SSA understands that patients have debilitating symptoms, and that no two patients’ symptoms are alike. This can make it hard to quantify limitations as they apply to each case. Even labs and diagnostic equipment can’t provide objective measurements when it comes to symptoms.
Your Indiana Social Security Disability Attorney Knows How the System Works
So exactly how does the Social Security Administration handle the subjective nature of claims? According to their policies, they often ask for a physician’s opinion. A physician can tell the Administration about the nature and severity of the symptoms, what kind of tasks the patient might still do in spite of them, and other factors.
Looking at symptoms in this way requires a specific kind of professional judgment. The physician must uncover whether they symptoms are directly related to the diagnosis, and if they are in line with the physician’s own observations.
Need to Talk to an Indiana Social Security Disability Attorney?
Talk to Martin Barnes at (317) 804-5058. His years of experience as a skilled Indiana Social Security disability attorney can help you navigate the complex process of claims, denials, appeals, and more. Call today – Mr. Barnes and his staff are ready to discuss your concerns.
At the crux of your Social Security disability (SSD) benefits case is the determination of whether you are too injured or ill to continue your current job or any prior jobs over the past 15 years (up to five). Your Indiana Social Security disability attorney will work tirelessly to ensure that you submit the required medical records along with your application to make your case as strong as possible. There are a number of inquiries the Social Security Administration (SSA) must make in order to determine whether eligibility for benefits is proper.
Physical and Mental Demands
In some cases, the SSA uses the services of a vocational expert to answer complex questions regarding a claimant’s physical and mental demands on the job. Most times, however, a vocational expert is not necessary and the SSA is able to make this determination based on the claimant’s statements. An SSA regulation provides “statements by the claimant regarding past work are generally sufficient for determining the skill level, exertional demands and non-exertional demands of such work.”
In the event a vocational expert is used at your administrative law hearing, he or she will be asked to describe your current and past relevant work. This explanation, per SSA guidelines, must include information concerning the physical and mental demands of past jobs, either as the claimant actually performed them or as generally performed in the national economy.
Actual Performance vs. National Economy
In some cases, a claimant’s experience and job duties at a past job far exceed those expected in the national economy. The claimant will claim that he or she is unable to perform past work, but this could be because the job was far more demanding than what is typical. Your Indiana Social Security disability attorney will advocate that you are too disabled to perform your past work, but it is very likely that you will be found not disabled as the administrative law judge must review your work duties as required by employees in the national economy. It is of no consequence if your prior employer over-worked you or implemented additional job demands.
If you are unsure how to prepare for your upcoming disability hearing and would like to speak to a knowledgeable Indiana Social Security disability attorney, contact Martin Barnes today: 317-804-5058.
Unfortunately, there is little that you or your Indianapolis Social Security lawyer can do to expedite your hearing aside from making sure all paperwork is filed on time. The average wait nationally between a hearing request and decision is 15.5 months, but your own wait may be shorter or longer.
Why Does It Take So Long?
Wait times vary from one state to another. You are dealing with a bureaucratic quagmire with SSA, and the problem is made worse by the fact that there are so very many applicants. Efforts to streamline the process have been made, and hopefully wait times will be reduced for future applicants.
What Happens after I Request a Hearing?
Sometime after you request the hearing, your Indianapolis Social Security lawyer will receive a phone call from the administrative law judge’s assistant to determine whether he is available for a specific date. Your lawyer will then send you a letter informing you of the date, following which the judge will send you a Notice of Hearing.
Once your hearing takes place, you can expect to wait an additional two to three months for a decision to be rendered. Assuming you are awarded benefits, you should receive your first check in a month or two. Back benefits will take substantially longer—possibly six months or longer if you will receive SSI.
It is important to have an Indianapolis Social Security lawyer in your corner when you attend your disability hearing. Call Martin Barnes for a consultation at (317) 804-5058.