Disability Lawyers in ChicagoIf you have a medical impairment that makes it difficult for you to sit for extended periods of time, that may qualify you for disability benefits. However, the manner in which your Chicago disability lawyers present the evidence, and particularly your testimony, can make the difference between approval and denial.

Basic Considerations

Under the Social Security Administration’s rules and regulations, sitting disabilities generally do not meet or equal a listing, which is a preliminary standard used to determine if an applicant is disabled. Nonetheless, you may prevail on your disability claim if your Chicago disability lawyers can prove you do not have the residual functional capacity to do any job because of your inability to sit.

Initial Application and Reconsideration

When you initially file your disability claim, you rely on the information in your medical files to tell your story. To the extent possible, it is beneficial to have a comprehensive report from your treating physician detailing how your impairment impacts your life and ability to perform work functions. However, at this phase of the proceedings, you are not permitted to provide any evidence or testimony personally describing your limitations. Consequently, the majority of initial applications claiming a sitting disability are denied. If you appeal the initial denial, reconsideration is the next step, but it again occurs based on the medical reports alone without your testimony. Only if you appeal again after a denial of reconsideration will you be able to testify before a judge at an administrative law hearing.

Testifying at Your Administrative Law Hearing

This is your best opportunity to gain approval of your claim, so it is important to properly prepare. The judge wants to hear directly from you; the information you provide can be far more informative and relevant than clinical medical records. Be prepared to explain in detail how sitting makes you feel. For instance, do not merely state that if you sit for extended periods of time you must constantly shift in your seat. Instead, relate how, for example, if you sit for 15 minutes you must get up and walk around for 15 minutes before you can sit again. Explain that the more often you sit in an extended period of time, the shorter the time you can sit before you need to stand and walk again. Elevating your feet may help you sit longer, but you cannot do paperwork from that position. You must think about these questions before your hearing so you can provide the judge with realistic estimates of what you are capable of doing.

Contact Disability Lawyers in Chicago for Legal Advice

Denials are common in SSA disability cases, but it is important to not get discouraged. For an evaluation of your specific case at any stage of the proceeding, call Chicago disability lawyers today.