How the Judge Determines Disability, What Not to Do at Your Hearing, How to Be Persuasive at Your Social Security Disability Hearing, How to Describe Your Daily Activities, When You Have Physical Impairments and Mental Limitations, and Can You Work Part-Time?
Recommended Articles: The medical records you need for your Atlanta Social Security disability claim, Social Security Disability: Past Relevant Work, How to apply for disability benefits, and The physician's role in the Social Security disability determination process
How an experienced Georgia Social Security disability attorney can help you win your claim
Many Atlanta Georgia Social Security disability claims that are denied at the application level or after a Request for Reconsideration are ultimately won at hearings. Nationally, about 60% of claimants are found disabled by administrative law judges at hearings.
Proof requirements will vary judge-by-judge, and an experienced local Atlanta Social Security disability attorney will know to present the right evidence to a hard-to-convince judge.
Here is a short outline of how we work to win the Social Security claims of our Atlanta Georgia clients:
1. Formulate a theory for your Social Security disability case
We begin with a thorough interview in which we obtain a detailed description of your impairments and symptoms. A clear understanding of your symptoms is the most important information we will obtain from you, for it is symptoms that prevent people from working. We will look for a link between your impairments and your symptoms, for one is necessary to support a finding of disability. And we look for specific work functions your impairments preclude.
If you have received a denial, we will scrutinize the denial letter to determine the exact reason for the denial. The reason is not always clearly set forth. Sometimes a denial letter says a claimant can still do a former job without identifying which job. Sometimes a letter says an impairment is not severe enough or a claimant can do lighter work, which are clues but are not as complete and specific as they should be. An experienced Social Security disability lawyer will be able to help you interpret the denial letter.
We will then analyze the medical and legal issues, and work to formulate a winning theory for your case. Of course, not every case can be won and if that is your situation we will tell you.
2. Assemble medical proof for your Atlanta Social Security disability case
The Social Security Administration requires a lot of medical documentation. It wants to see medical test results and clinical findings, not merely conclusions by your treating doctor. It is your Social Security disability lawyer’s job to make sure that your test results are consistent with the Social Security Administration’s specific requirements for particular types of medical evidence.
We will gather the full range of medical evidence, from any emergency room records and admission histories through radiology and surgical reports to physical therapy evaluations.
Our final medical document package will depend upon our theory of your case. If negative records exist, we will also submit those but will refine our presentation of your case to account for their existence.
3. Present a persuasive case to the administrative law judge
We have handled hearings for thousands of Atlanta and other Georgia Social Security disability claimants. At your hearing we will guide your testimony through:
- The requirements of the jobs you held in the last 15 years – exertional, skill, and stress levels
- Your current medical treatment: length, frequency, medication, etc.
- Your physical symptoms, including your pain, its severity, and the resulting restrictions
- Your functional capacity: ability to sit, stand, walk, lift, carry, manipulate, and travel
- Your current daily activities
We will also question a few lay witnesses (usually friends and family), asking them about their observations of your limitations. Before and after testimony from corroborative witnesses can be very helpful.
In our over 30 years as Atlanta Social Security disability lawyers, we have developed and polished many effective techniques for winning benefits. We can explain in more detail how we work on your behalf during your interview.
Answers to your questions about Social Security disability
Prior to our interview, it will be helpful if you spend some time reviewing this website. Its 100 pages are loaded with usable information and detailed answers. We especially recommend:
Are you thinking about applying?
- The Are You Likely to Qualify video above provides a straightforward verbal introduction to disability determination.
- 9 Tips for Applying sheds additional light on what the Social Security Administration seeks before awarding benefits.
- Our answers to Frequently Asked Questions about Social Security disability provide a good introduction if you are new to the topic.
- To understand how SSA evaluates particular impairments and obtain valuable medical opinion forms, go to our Library below and see Applying for Disability Benefits When…
Has your application been denied?
- Our downloadable free booklet, Appealing a Denial of Benefits, provides practical advice.
- See our video How the Judge Determines Disability.
- Review the articles in Your Disability Hearing (also in our Library below) for an inside look at the most important part of the disability evaluation process.
We are happy to personally answer any questions that remain after reviewing our website, or to assess your claim without cost or obligation. You may complete the short Claim Evaluation Form on the right side of this page or contact us.