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IL SSI lawyerIn order to receive Social Security disability benefits, you must be completely unable to work. Even if you are incapable of returning to your previous job, Social Security will also look at whether you can perform different types of work, including “sedentary” work. Among other things, sedentary work includes jobs that do not require a person to lift more than 10 pounds at once during the workday.

Illinois Magistrate: Social Security Failed to Give “Controlling Weight” to Disability Applicant's Doctor

So if your treating physician determines you cannot lift more than 10 pounds, that should weigh in favor of granting your application for disability benefits. Of course, Social Security does not always make things that easy. Take this recent decision from an Illinois federal magistrate judge, Lucy S. v. Saul. In this case, a Social Security administrative law judge (ALJ) disregarded the findings of an applicant's treating physician with respect to her ability to lift. The magistrate took exception to the ALJ's decision and returned the case to Social Security for a new hearing.

The plaintiff in this case was diagnosed with multiple sclerosis as a teenager. She was nevertheless able to work as an MRI technologist for approximately 14 years. While moving a patient one day in 2015, the plaintiff said her “back gave out with a pop,” and she has been unable to work ever since.

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b2ap3_thumbnail_Social-Security-Disability-Insurance-Chicago.jpgThe new year will bring more than a change of presidential administrations. On January 1, 2017, new program rates and limits for individuals receiving Social Security Disability Insurance (SSDI) and Supplemental Security Income (SSI) benefits will take effect. Although these increases are relatively modest, they will still help millions of Americans who rely on government benefits as their primary income source.

A Small Increase in Disability Benefits

By law, Social Security officials must adjust benefit rates and limits annually based on the Consumer Price Indexes (CPI). The CPI is a program run by the U.S. Department of Labor that measures the month-to-month changes in the “prices paid by urban consumers for a representative basket of goods and services.” It is essentially a broad measure of inflation in the U.S. economy.

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