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April 2017 Archives

Disability Hearings and Vocational Experts

One thing that always confuses clients about disability hearings is the role of vocational experts. When you attend a disability hearing, the judge and your attorney will ask you a variety of questions about your past work, your symptoms, and what you now do on a daily basis. A medical doctor or psychiatrist may then offer testimony about your medical history. But then, the hearing will always conclude with the testimony of the medical vocational expert (VE). The judge will pose several hypotheticals to the VE about what sort of jobs you're capable of based on your impairments. The VE then testifies about the types of jobs that are out there that you could potentially perform based on your age, education, and experience, and how many of those jobs exist in the national and local economies. Your attorneys may also ask questions of the VE about what types of jobs you could perform. Indeed these questions can be critical. It is important to make sure that every potential impairment is considered by the VE. Many judge's decisions are overturned or sent back for rehearing because a judge did not consider every impairment that a claimant suffers from. For example, a claimant may have multiple physical and mental impairments, including severe arthritis of both hands. How often an individual can use their hands on the job can have a drastic effect on whether they can perform available jobs. If a judge does not ask the VE about this impairment, it could completely change the outcome of the case. It is also common for judges to fail to consider mental impairments at all in their questioning, which can be particularly important in cases involving claimants over the age of 50 when some disability rules change. Dealing with vocational experts is understandably complex, but having an experienced Social Security disability attorney on your side can ensure the right questions are asked at your disability hearing.

Coping with Disability-Related Stress

Everyone copes with stress in their lives, but not everyone must deal with a disabling impairment. According to a 2010 survey by the U.S. Census Bureau, nearly 1 in 5 people in the U.S. have a disability (Americans with Disabilities, 2010). More than half of the adults reporting an impairment indicate that it is severe, with trouble concentrating or coping with stress being one predictor of severity (Id.). The report also showed Americans with severe disabilities are less likely to be employed and more likely to experience persistent poverty (Id.).

The Right to Privacy

The right to privacy refers to the concept that personal information should be protected from public scrutiny. While not explicitly stated in the Constitution, the Fourth Amendment alludes to individual privacy rights in granting the people's right "to be secure in their persons, houses, papers, and effects." In addition, the Ninth Amendment states that the enumeration of certain rights "shall not be construed to deny or disparage others retained by the people."

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Midwest Disability, P.A.
408 Northdale Boulevard Northwest
Coon Rapids, MN 55448
Toll Free: 888-351-0427
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