Clients of a Lowell disability attorney often have questions regarding how the Social Security Administration (SSA) will go about finding a claimant disabled.
When the determination of disability is made, the SSA utilizes the Listing of Impairments and the Medical-Vocational Guidelines. The Listing of Impairments has medical findings which can lead to a finding of disability without examining if a claimant is capable of doing work he or she did in the past.
The Medical-Vocational Guidelines will be examined if the claimant cannot receive disability benefits from the Listing of Impairments and is unable to do past relevant work.
To view the Listing of Impairments, go to http://www.socialsecurity.gov/disability/professionals/bluebook/index.htm. These are the findings that will be made for impairments of a physical or mental nature. A Lowell disability lawyer will explain that when a claimant is found to have an issue on the list, they will have a good chance of receiving disability benefits. The claimant might also receive a finding for disability if an impairment that isn’t on the Listings is deemed to be as severe as one that is on the Listings.
The SSA uses the Listings for fact-finding; it is not based on a doctor’s opinion. For the purpose of deciding whether or not a claimant should receive benefits, the SSA will use a doctor for medical evidence. The SSA, however, will make the final decision. The SSA claims that there is a specific expertise that they have and the doctors do not. In reality, the Administrative Law Judge (ALJ) will take a doctor’s opinion into account if it is supported by facts.
If you have questions about how the Listing of Impairments affects a decision by the SSA, a Lowell disability attorney can help. Call Gerard A. Palma at 888-295-4955 today.