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IL disability lawyerAs advanced as medical technology is, it is not perfect. There are many people who suffer physical or mental ailments with no clear cause. Even trained doctors may look at the same patient presenting the same symptoms and reach different conclusions. But how does Social Security deal with such lack of consensus when assessing disability benefit applications.

Magistrate Orders New Disability Hearing After ALJ Failed to Consult Any Medical Experts

As is often the case with Social Security, their first instinct is often to declare the applicant is not disabled. In some situations, a Social Security administrative law judge (ALJ) may simply make guesses about the applicant's actual medical condition. Such an approach is not only unscientific, but it also goes against how the law is supposed to work in this area.

A recent decision from a federal magistrate judge here in Illinois offers a helpful illustration. In this case, a 43-year-old woman applied for disability benefits four years ago. In her application, the plaintiff described a variety of impairments that have rendered her unable to return to full-time work.


Chicago disability benefits lawyer, physician diagnosis, disability cases, disability applicant, Social Security regulationsBefore you can receive Social Security Disability Insurance benefits, agency officials must first determine what jobs you might still be capable of performing. This requires a thorough review of your medical record, including any work-related limitations noted by your treating doctors and the state agency physicians who assist the Social Security Administration's administrative law judge (ALJ) in assessing your claim.

Keep in mind, however, that the ALJ's job is not to “play doctor” herself, but rather to weigh all of the credible medical evidence—including your own testimony regarding your symptoms—and to determine whether you qualify as disabled under Social Security regulations.

Judge Finds SSA Official Improperly Ignored Applicant's “Prolonged Standing” Restriction


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