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IL disability lawyerTo receive Social Security disability benefits, you will not only need to show that your physical or mental conditions have caused you to be unable to work in jobs you have previously done, but you will also need to demonstrate that you are unable to find gainful employment in positions that are available in the United States economy. In many cases, Social Security disability claims are denied because a vocational expert (VE) testifies that a person should be able to work in certain jobs that fit their physical or mental limitations. However, these denials may be made based on an improper consideration of the complexity of the work a person is able to perform.

Magistrate Overrules Denial of Benefits Based on Limitations Regarding One-to-Two Step Tasks

One recent case in Illinois courts addressed work limitations and the improper denial of benefits. In the case of Michael S. v. Commissioner of Social Security, the plaintiff had applied for Social Security disability benefits based on cognitive impairments such as memory loss, attention deficit disorder, and depression. After disability benefits were denied, the plaintiff appealed this decision, and the court ruled in his favor and remanded the case to the Commissioner of Social Security for reconsideration. After considering new evidence, an Administrative Law Judge (ALJ) again denied benefits, and the plaintiff appealed this decision as well.

The key issue in this appeal involved the opinions of two state agency psychologists stating that the plaintiff should be limited to one-to-two step tasks while at work. Based on the testimony of a medical expert, the ALJ rejected this limitation and found that the plaintiff could perform light work while being limited to tasks that involved simple decision-making.

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Cook County disability benefits attorney, unemployment benefits, disability hearing, disability benefits, unemployment insuranceDisability applicants often find themselves in Catch-22 position. They need income while waiting for Social Security to rule on their claim. However, any action they take to acquire income may be cited by Social Security as proof they are not legally “disabled.”

Appeals Court Rejects Use of Unemployment to Question Applicant's Credibility

This conundrum often comes up with respect to unemployment benefits. Unemployment insurance is designed as a temporary replacement for wages while an individual is looking for work. Yet does this mean that accepting unemployment constitutes an admission that a person is physically and mentally capable of work?

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Social Security disability benefits, Cook County disability benefits attorney, medical evidence, disability claim, disability hearingMedical evidence is usually the key to obtaining Social Security disability benefits. Your best source of credible medical evidence is generally your own doctor. But what if your doctor is an internal medicine generalist and not a specialist? Can Social Security disregard your doctor's views simply because they lack specialized training or experience with respect to your particular disability?

Judge Rejects Social Security's Excuses for Rejecting Primary Care Doctor's Diagnosis

A federal judge here in Illinois recently confronted these questions. The plaintiff in this lawsuit seeks Social Security benefits due to a number of physical and mental impairments. Of particular note, the plaintiff suffers from “lumbar disc abnormalities” that restrict his ability to sit, stand, and walk.

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