There are certain impairments people have and some groups of people in which obtaining Social Security disability benefits can be harder than for others.
Let's start with the simple:
1. Certain kinds of mental and physical impairments.
The vast majority of claimants that are denied, fit within this category. If a person is only alleging mental impairments that keep him or her from working, this makes it more difficult to be approved. The primary reason is that you can't see depression in an MRI or x-ray. The symptoms are mostly, if not all, reported from the claimant and diagnosed by the doctor from listening to the claimant. So, many times it falls to credibility of the claimant testifying in a hearing before being possibly awarded benefits.
That's why, if a claimant does have mental impairments that keep him or her from working, if there are any physical impairments as well, those too should be listed as to why the claimant is unable to work.
In regards to physical impairments, certain kinds can also be difficult to allow a claimant to be awarded benefits. For example, lupus and other connective tissue diseases can be hard to diagnose and convince the Social Security Administration they are so severe they keep a claimant from working. And, by and far, one of the most difficult cases to win is epilepsy. For some strange reason, many judges believe a claimant is capable of working even if he or she is experiencing daily seizures. For physical impairments such as these, it is extremely important a claimant go to the doctor or hospital on a regular basis and make a daily log of their seizure activity.
Now, on to the harder stuff:
2. There are certain categories of people who will have a harder time being approved than others.
A. Anyone under the age of 50.
In order to be found disabled under Social Security's "rules," it is assumed that a person under the age of 50 can do some type of unskilled sit-down work, even with his or her impairments. Therefore, a person within this category must overcome this presumption in order to win his or her case. Oftentimes, this is too large a burden to do so.
B. Anyone who had a sit-down type of job within the last 15 years of filing for disability.
In order to be approved for disability benefits, a person must not be able to return to any work (performed at a certain level) within the last fifteen years of filing for disability. Remember, oftentimes it is presumed a person is capable of performing some type of sit-down job. If that person has in fact done so within the last 15 years, then SSA may believe he or she can still do so.
C. Any person that had management skills within his or her past employment.
This becomes very important for claimants over the age of 50. These kinds of skills can easily be transferred to other kinds of work. If skills can transferred to other types of work, then a claimant will still be denied even if he or she has a severe impairment or combination of impairments. Sadly, SSA favors claimants over the age of 50, with unskilled work in the past. If you have these certain skills, you may find you will have to go before a judge to better explain your impairments.
We help claimants throughout Texas fighting for their Social Security disability benefits. Please feel free to contact us at: (888) 780-9125.