Disputing Proposed Jobs at an Appeal Hearing If Denied Disability Benefits

February 21, 2020
Dayes Law Firm

Your disability claim may be denied by the Social Security Administration (SSA) based on their belief that you are able to perform other types of work. If you do not agree that you are able to perform the jobs the SSA proposes, you may appeal this decision and dispute them at your disability hearing.

A qualified disability attorney from our firm is prepared to help you fight for the benefits you need throughout the appeals process. Learn how we may be able to help you during a free consultation.

Challenging Why You Cannot Do Proposed Jobs

At a disability hearing with an Administrative Law Judge (ALJ), the ALJ will bring in a Vocational Expert (VE) to testify regarding the types of employment people with impairments are able to perform based on Department of Labor (DOT) job information.

During this testimony, your attorney is able to cross-examine the VE, dispute DOT information, the transferrable skills he or she believes you possess and more to rule out the jobs proposed by the SSA.

Limitations That Prevent Doing Sedentary Work

A disability claim is often denied when the SSA thinks an applicant can do unskilled sedentary work. While sedentary work is largely undemanding, there are still limitations that may prevent an individual from performing this type of work.

If you are able to prove you have the following physical limitations that prevent you from performing unskilled sedentary jobs, the SSA is likely to rule you are unable to perform these proposed jobs:

  • Inability to sit down for six to eight hours
  • Fatigue requires you to lie down and/or sleep during daytime hours
  • You must be reclining or laying during the day
  • Legs must be elevated when sitting
  • Unable to stoop, bend or crouch
  • Dominant hand is severely limited in use

Mental or psychiatric limitations may also be used to dispute the possibility of performing proposed sedentary jobs, such as:

  • Unable to follow basic, short directions
  • Cleanliness and hygiene are lacking due to your condition
  • Unable to concentrate for long periods of time
  • Unable to deal with stress from work
  • Need to be off task more than 15 percent of the working day, aside from regular breaks
  • Must miss two or more workdays per month due to medical reasons

Certain Factors the Judge Will Consider

When you dispute proposed jobs, the ALJ only considers a few types of facts as evidence you are unable to do the types of work he or she believes you can do. These facts include:

  • Your age
  • Your education level
  • Skills gained through previous work
  • If those skills apply to proposed jobs
  • If your medical condition hinders your ability to perform proposed jobs

Certain Factors the Judge Will Not Consider

The following types of information will not be considered by the ALJ as evidence you cannot do the jobs proposed by the SSA:

  • Jobs are only part-time or seasonal work
  • No current openings for proposed jobs
  • Wages for proposed job are not high enough
  • Your belief that no one will hire you
  • Your belief that you cannot pass employment physicals
  • Available jobs would require relocation
  • Your vocational license for your profession is expired
  • You do not qualify for a vocational license to do your profession
  • You do not hold a driver’s license
  • You do not have transportation to a proposed job
  • You do not wish to do proposed jobs

Let Us Help at Your Disability Hearing

If your disability claim has been denied, we recommend reaching out to our Phoenix Social Security Disability lawyers at Dayes Law Firm for help. We have assisted our clients with the application process and supported their claims through the appeals process to access the benefits they are eligible for.

Request a free, no-obligation consultation for more information about your available legal options. There are no upfront fees and payment is only owed if we recover benefits for you.

We are standing by to take your call. 1-800-503-2000.