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Social Security disability benefits, disability applicants, mental health disorders, Chicago disability benefits lawyer,  legally disabledIllinois residents with serious mental health disorders are often rejected for Social Security disability benefits because agency officials simply refuse to take such conditions seriously. Social Security administrative law judges (ALJs) are especially prone to accusing disability applicants of fabricating or exaggerating mental health symptoms—and even dismissing expert medical opinions supporting such claims.

But ALJs are not doctors. Their role is to weigh and assess the medical evidence presented. It is not to substitute their own subjective judgment when they deem it convenient.

Court Orders Social Security to Reconsider Disability Case

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disability benefits, Chicago Social Security attorney, disability claim, disability case, medical recordsSocial Security officials often resort to using boilerplate language or checklists when denying claims for disability benefits. Federal courts must continually remind Social Security this is not an acceptable practice. Every disability applicant has the right to fair consideration of the unique facts and circumstances applicable to his or her case, especially any medical evidence documenting his or her physical or mental impairments. Yet ironically, Social Security itself often tries to dismiss such medical evidence on the grounds that doctors use boilerplate language or checklists in filling out some of their assessments.

Court Criticizes Social Security for Resorting to “Rank Speculation” in Denying Disability Claim

Consider this recent disability case from here in Illinois. The plaintiff spent 25 years as a yard manager for the Chicago Transportation Authority. But in 2004, he was forced to stop working due to a combination of medical conditions, including bad knees, high blood pressure, and lower back pain.

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inability to walk, disability benefits,  disability benefits claim,  Chicago disability benefits lawyer, disability caseSocial Security's job when it comes to reviewing your claim for disability benefits is to assess the physical limitations on your ability to work. The most direct source of information regarding these limitations is obviously your own testimony. Yet Social Security has a long history of simply refusing to credit applicant testimony without justification. This can force applicants to go through a multi-level appeals process just to get a fair hearing.

Federal Court Finds Social Security Misstated Disability Applicant's Medical Record

Consider one Social Security case from here in Illinois that began more than five years ago. The plaintiff, a former laborer now in his 60s, was forced to stop working in 2008 due to a number of ailments, including asthma, chronic obstructive pulmonary disease, and coronary artery disease. Indeed, the applicant's medical history for these conditions goes back nearly 14 years.

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