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medical evidence, Social Security disability decisions, Chicago Social Security disability lawyer, disability benefits, disability claimsSocial Security disability decisions are supposed to be based on medical evidence. However, far too often, Social Security officials ignore this evidence in favor of their own preconceived biases towards a disability applicant, especially those suffering from chronic pain. Even worse, officials may try to manipulate the testimony of medical experts to justify their erroneous conclusions.

Court Says Social Security Cannot “Delegate” Credibility Findings to Consulting Doctors

The U.S. Seventh Circuit Court of Appeals in Chicago recently expressed its exasperation with the Social Security Administration over such practices. The context was a decision to deny disability benefits to a man suffering from congenital spinal stenosis and other serious medical impairments. At a hearing before a Social Security administrative law judge (ALJ), the applicant presented substantial medical evidence documenting his condition. In brief, the applicant suffers from chronic pain as the result of a degenerative back problem, which has not improved despite undergoing surgery.

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Social Security Disability Insurance, Chicago disability benefits lawyer, disability applicant, chronic back pain, disability claimsOne of the most common reasons why people seek Social Security Disability Insurance benefits is they are simply in too much pain to keep working. When that pain has a clear medical explanation, you would think that should be enough to satisfy Social Security officials. Yet in far too many cases, agency officials simply dismiss “subjective” complaints of pain, even while acknowledging a disability applicant has a serious mental or physical impairment.

Judge Criticizes Social Security for “Selective” Misrepresentation of Evidence

Let us consider a recent decision by a federal judge in southern Illinois. The plaintiff is a woman in her mid-40s who first applied for disability benefits over five years ago. Previously, she worked as a customer service representative until her medical condition left her unable to sit all day.

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Social Security disability attorney, Chicago disability benefits lawyer, Social Security regulations, disability claims, disability caseMany people are hesitant to hire a Social Security disability attorney because they fear the potential cost of representation. This is understandable. After all, if you are unable to work and struggling to make ends meet, the last thing you want to do is worry about paying a large legal bill.

But what you should understand is that under Social Security regulations, your lawyer works on a contingency basis. This means you do not owe the attorney anything unless your disability claim is successful. When you hire a disability lawyer, you will need to sign a contingency agreement authorizing the Social Security Administration to pay the attorney out of your final benefits award.

Compensation as a Percentage of “Past Due” Benefits

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