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disability benefits, Chicago Social Security disability attorney, disability case, physical limitations, disability benefits claimWhen considering your application for disability benefits, Social Security officials must assess your functional physical limitations in the workplace. Among other things, this means determining your ability to sit, stand, walk, lift, carry, push, and pull over the course of a typical 8-hour workday. This forms part of a larger residual functional capacity (RFC) analysis that determines if you are no longer able to work in any meaningful capacity.

Social Security Failed to Explain “One Hour” Findings

Social Security administrative law judges (ALJs) are tasked with reviewing your medical records and other evidence to ascertain your physical limitations. The ALJ is not a doctor, however, and must “build a logical bridge” between the evidence presented and his or her ultimate conclusions. In other words, the ALJ is not permitted to guess or speculate as to your limitations without citing some support in the record.

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applicant disability, Chicago disability benefits lawyer, disability benefits, disability benefits claims, disability applicantsSocial Security often denies disability benefits claims because it fails to properly assess the “combined effects” of an individual's mental and physical impairments. In other words, while a specific impairment—say back pain or diabetes—may not by itself prevent you from working, taking into account how all of your impairments affect your daily life means you can still qualify for disability.

Social Security Ignores Evidence of Applicant's Back Pain, Other Ailments

Of course, Social Security officials often try to do just the reverse: isolate and attempt to minimize the effects of a single impairment without looking at the larger picture. This is not how the law works. But unfortunately, it often takes a federal judge to remind Social Security of this.

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disability benefits, Chicago disability benefits lawyer, disability payments, disability recipients, disability benefits claimSocial Security disability benefits do not give recipients much to live on. In 2017, the average disability recipient gets just $1,173 per month. That is less than $300 per week to cover all of the recipient's living and personal expenses.

Keep in mind, this is just the average. The actual amount of disability benefits that you receive is based on your personal average lifetime earnings—in other words, how much you paid into the disability insurance system. (The maximum possible monthly benefit in 2017 is $2,687.) You are not entitled to higher benefits based on the severity of your disability or how much other members of your household may earn.

Cost of Living Adjustments

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