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Denied for Other Work by Social Security Disability

Social Security Disability Insurance or Supplemental Security Income benefits are awarded to claimants who are determined to be totally disabled and unable to perform substantial gainful activity. Unlike other types of disability programs such as Veteran’s disability, SSDI and SSI payments only awarded for total disability. Disabilities, either physical or mental, must be expected to last at least 12 months or be expected to result in the claimant’s death.

To determine if a claimant is disabled, the disability examiner will review relevant work they have performed in the past 15 years. Claimants who can not perform their current job may be able to retrain for other types of employment. Disability examiners will make this determination by evaluating a claimant’s age, education, work history and their mental and physical residual functional limitations.

Overview Of The Social Security Disability Claim Process


The Social Security Administration maintains a listing of common impairments called the Listing of Impairments. If a claimant does not immediately meet a listing (which automatically allows a claimant to receive disability benefits) the claimant’s residual functional capacity can become more important than the actual impairment. Vocational guidelines have been created to help disability examiners make uniform, standardized decisions about a claimant’s disabling health conditions. Claimants may be limited to sedentary, light, medium, heavy or very heavy work based on their residual functional capacity. Older claimants may have more difficulty adjusting to new employment, and therefore, have a greater chance of receiving benefits than younger employees using the vocational guidelines.

How is the disability decision made?


The first step in the disability determination process is for the disability examiner to determine if a claimant can perform the work they have done in the past. Claimants must provide a detailed description of their past jobs. Detailed physical requirements should be provided by the claimant including the amount of time they were required to sit, stand or walk and the amount of weight they had to frequently lift. Jobs are matched against similar jobs identified in the Dictionary of Occupational Titles, which is a handbook for jobs maintained by the Social Security Administration. The disability examiners evaluate the job requirements for each past job and compare this information to the residual functional capacity information identified in the claimant’s medical files or the residual functional capacity forms (RFC Forms) provided by the claimant’s physicians.

Claimants whose mental or physical residual functional capacity makes it impossible to perform their past work may be able to be retrained to perform another job available in the regional economy. The question of other jobs which may be performed by the disability claimant most frequently arises at the Administrative hearing level when the vocational expert has a list of other job which they claim the claimant may be able to perform given their current limitations. Claimants who have hired an experienced Social Security Disability attorney will hopefully be able to evaluate these “other jobs” and present evidence which proves the claimant does not have sufficient residual functional capacity to perform the suggested work.

The term “denied to other work” may be used by the Social Security Administration to mean that they have denied Social Security Disability benefits based on their evidence that even if a claimant can not perform their old job, they should be able to retrain for new employment based on their residual functional capacity, age, work skills and education level.

How do you win a Social Security Disability benefits? You must prove not only that you can not do your old job, but you can not do any other job available in the regional economy. Social Security Disability lawyers can help you gather relevant medical records to prove your Social Security Disability claim. Residual functional capacity forms, which are completed by a claimant’s doctor, outline the claimant’s physical and mental limitations. These forms are one of the best pieces of medical evidence which can be provided to the Social Security Administration to prove the claimant is unable to work other jobs and keep the SSA from denying a claimant with the reason they are “denied to other work”.