First of all, to prove disability an attorney must show that the client has been or will be unable to work for a year or longer due to their health. An attorney must prove that the client is disabled under the rules and regulations of the Social Security Administration. The three most common arguments are:
- The client’s physical or mental impairment meets or equals one of Social Security’s listing of impairments. This is a listing argument.
- Based on the client’s age, education, residual functional capacity (ability to perform work related tasks like lifting, carrying, standing, walking, etc.) and work experience, the client should be found disabled. This is a Medical Vocational Rule “Grid” argument.
- The client is unable to perform any work on a regular and continuing basis due to their health.
A skilled attorney may present one or more arguments to prove their client’s disability case.
Most of the denials we see in the disability process are grounded in the analysis of the disabling condition and its affect on the claimant’s ability to work. Sometimes a claim is simply denied initially due to missing medical documentation or that the decision maker simply overlooked a medical listing or Medical Vocational Rule. A disability attorney can help by obtaining evidence and presenting arguments to Social Security. The disability attorney has several successful methods of satisfactorily proving disability. For example, the odds of success in the disability claims process increase greatly if the disability attorney is successful in obtaining a qualified supporting statement from one of the disability claimant’s treating physicians. Such statements from the claimant’s treating physician are held in high regards in the determination process.
Skilled disability attorneys are also successful through detailed knowledge of the process and the client’s particular situation. In this, the winning disability attorney ensures the Social Security Administration knows of ALL disabling conditions and their impact on a client’s ability to work. Furthermore, an experienced attorney will gather and present supporting documents (medical records, statements from treating physicians, etc.) that the client and the Social Security Administration may not have. Being aware of filing deadlines for the submission of supporting documents and appeals is critical to a winning claim. The most common way to lose a disability claim is to simply give up and fail to keep the case alive through the appeals process. The winning disability attorney is usually the attorney who files the appropriate appeals, presents all relevant evidence, and forms a winning argument based on Social Security’s rules and regulations.