Sometimes a back injury alone just isn't enough

May 4, 2018

I know, your back hurts to the point where you just can't find a comfortable spot. You eat Flexeril like Skittles, and nothing seems to work. It hurts so bad, you can't even concentrate on any task at hand. You've tried to work, but the pain interferes with your ability to keep up with the other employees, and you even have the medical records to support your allegations.

 

That should be enough to at least get on Social Security for a year or two, get some medical treatment, and then return back to work -right?

 

Not so fast. 

 

There are many other issues at play in determining whether you meet the definition of being disabled under Social Security's rules. While they may not seem fair, they are the rules nonetheless.

 

Here are some things the Social Security Administration will also consider:

 

1. Your age.

 

If you are under the age of 50, then you must show that you are unable to do any unskilled job in a seated position for the majority of the day (with normal breaks) and lift and carry up to 10 pounds at some time during the day. To be honest, that is pretty hard to do, and you may find the Administration comes up with some pretty dumb unskilled jobs they believe you are still capable of performing.

 

2. Your education.

 

If you are over the age of 50, then your education comes into play. If you have less than a high school education, then the Administration understands the likelihood of finding work in the national economy is more difficult than if you had graduated from high school or completed college. In the reverse, the more education you have, the more likely you will be able to transfer to some other kind of work. I tell people, this is the one time in their lives that if they had only an 8th grade education, it works to their advantage.

 

3. Work you've performed within the last 15 years.

 

If you have only worked at unskilled labor and you happen to be over the age of 50, then this too will be to your advantage. If you have worked at skilled labor or in management, then you may find that you have what is called "transferable work skills." If you are over the age of 50 and you do have transferable work skills, this may be the "death nail" to your case. If your possess such skills, you must then prove that you are unable to even perform sedentary work (which again, is sitting at a job for 6 out of 8 hours per day, standing/walking for 2 hours, and lifting up to 10 pounds occasionally). In essence, if you do have transferable work skills, then you are basically being treated as though you are under the age of 50 and are unable to perform even sedentary work. Oftentimes, this is a very high hurdle to overcome.

 

Here's an idea:

 

If you do have one impairment that is the major reason why you are unable to return back to full-time work, attempt to also claim any other limitation you possibly may have. For example, if you also struggle with diabetes, then you may have neuropathy that keeps you from standing or walking. Another example would be hypertension. If it can't be controlled with medication, you may be able to state a strong enough claim that it too interferes with your ability to work. Another good example would be to have a mental impairment such as depression. The more impairments you can medically prove, the better your chances of success.

 

While winning is not for certain, you can actually improve your chances of winning your Social Security disability case.

 

We help claimants throughout Texas and Oklahoma fighting for their Social Security disability benefits. Please always feel free to contact our office at: (888) 780-9125. 

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