Alcohol or Drug Addiction and Social Security Disability

Since the enactment of the Senior Citizen’s Right to Work Act of 1996, the courts have been faced with how substantively to apply the amendments when evaluating eligibility for disability benefits. The following survey of decisions includes Social Security disability cases in which the courts have either (1) substantively applied the new amendments, or [...]

2019-10-03T07:41:42+05:00September 25th, 2019|Categories: Law Library, Legal issues|

Effect of Borderline Age on the Application of the Medical-Vocational Guidelines (Grids)

The Social Security disability regulations provide that the Commissioner will not apply the age categories mechanically in a “borderline situation.” 20 C.F.R. § 404.1563(a). The Commissioner considers a borderline situation to exist “when there would be a shift in results caused by the passage of a few days or months.” Social Security Ruling 82-46c. [...]

2019-10-03T07:44:57+05:00September 25th, 2019|Categories: Law Library, Legal issues|

Chemical Sensitivity and Environmental Illness in Social Security Disability

Modern medicine appears to be only now recognizing that some Social Security disability claimants may be suffering from illnesses related to chemical sensitivities. The courts have not welcomed the new diagnosis and appear to be applying a strict standard in terms of objective proof of such conditions. The following listing of Social Security disability [...]

2019-10-03T07:49:06+05:00September 25th, 2019|Categories: Law Library, Legal issues|

Chronic Fatigue Syndrome and Social Security Disability

In response to the growing class of Social Security disability claimants diagnosed with chronic fatigue syndrome (CFS), the Social Security Administration (SSA) issued SSR 99-2p setting forth the SSA’s position on CFS. In general, both the SSA and the courts now recognize CFS as a medically determinable impairment, which can, in some cases, result in [...]

2019-10-03T08:30:03+05:00September 25th, 2019|Categories: Law Library, Legal issues|

Fibromyalgia and Social Security Disability

The condition of fibromyalgia has received increasing attention in recent Social Security disability court decisions. The cases generally require the ALJ to evaluate carefully the effect of medically-documented fibromyalgia on a claimant’s ability to work. The following summary of cases includes only those cases where the issue of fibromyalgia was central to the court’s [...]

2019-10-03T08:32:49+05:00September 25th, 2019|Categories: Law Library, Legal issues|

Illiteracy and Social Security Disability

The Social Security Administration’s (SSA) Medical-Vocational Guidelines (Grids) provide that the literacy or illiteracy of certain categories of claimants can either result in a finding of “disabled” or “not disabled.” See 20 C.F.R. Pt. 404, Subpt. P, App. 2. Consequently, if a claimant appears to have trouble reading or writing in English, the Grids should [...]

2019-10-03T08:29:07+05:00September 25th, 2019|Categories: Law Library, Legal issues|

Inability to Afford Treatment and Social Security Disability

The regulations provide that, to obtain Social Security disability benefits, a claimant must follow prescribed treatment if the treatment would restore the claimant’s ability to work. Although the regulations do not list “inability to pay” as a justifiable excuse for failing to follow prescribed treatment, applicable rulings and case law establish that the inability to [...]

2019-10-03T08:27:14+05:00September 25th, 2019|Categories: Law Library, Legal issues|

Inability to Speak English and Social Security Disability

The Social Security Administration’s (SSA) Medical-Vocational Guidelines (Grids) provide that in some instances where a claimant is limited to sedentary or light work and is unable to communicate in English, the claimant is deemed disabled. The Grids also provide, however, that in some cases, the claimant’s ability or inability to communicate in English is either [...]

2019-10-03T08:25:20+05:00September 25th, 2019|Categories: Law Library, Legal issues|

Inability to Stoop and Social Security Disability

Although the Social Security rulings discussed below clearly provide that the complete inability to stoop significantly erodes the unskilled sedentary occupational base, the courts have not decided many Social Security disability cases pertaining to this issue. When presented with the applicable Rulings, the courts seem to agree that reliance on the Medical-Vocational Guidelines is improper [...]

2019-10-03T08:23:54+05:00September 25th, 2019|Categories: Law Library, Legal issues|

Lupus and Social Security Disability

Disseminated (systemic) lupus erythematosus can be a debilitating medical condition deserving of Social Security disability benefits. This material surveys the more significant cases discussing the medical condition in a Social Security disability context. Please note that discoid lupus should be distinguished from systemic lupus erythematosus in terms of medical significance. Tip Develop the record regarding [...]

2019-10-03T08:22:24+05:00September 25th, 2019|Categories: Law Library, Legal issues|
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