Las Vegas Social Security Disability Attorney

Las Vegas Social Security disability claimants can take advantage of experience gained in over 15,000 cases

In 40+ years as a Las Vegas social security disability attorney, there is one question I have been asked more than any other: “Will I be awarded benefits?” In all but the most extreme cases, I cannot answer this question with a definitive “Yes,” or “No.” The short answer is that you will be awarded benefits if you meet the Social Security definition of “disabled.” Simply put, this means that you will be awarded benefits if you have a severe mental or physical condition that prevents you from working. As you may already know, however, it’s not that simple. The Social Security regulations are complicated and the case results sometimes defy common-sense. (Read Examples of who is and who is not disabled to get an idea of how the rules are applied in real-life situations. The results may surprise you.) So, rather than speculate as to the outcome of your case, I will rely on hard work, my knowledge of the law, and my experience in dealing with Nevada Social Security decision-makers to help you present your best and most compelling case for an award of benefits.

What factors does Social Security consider in deciding whether to award benefits?

In every case, the Social Security decision-maker will ask 5 questions in deciding whether to award or deny benefits:

  1. Is the applicant working now? [No.]
  2. Does the applicant have a chronic, severe physical or mental condition? [Yes.]
  3. Is the applicant’s condition so severe that it qualifies as a Listings impairment? [Yes -- the applicant is “disabled” as a matter of law and will be awarded benefits; No -- the analysis continues.]
  4. Is the applicant able to do the easiest job he has done in the past? [No.]
  5. Is the applicant able to do any other type of work? [No.]

The Social Security Administration calls this the “sequential evaluation process.” It works like a flowchart. Each question must be asked and answered in order; an “incorrect” answer at any point in this analysis will result in a denial of benefits.

What factors are not considered in deciding whether to award benefits?

Question 5 of the sequential evaluation process often proves to be the most difficult question to answer. Relevant factors include your age, education, prior work experience, and your “residual functional capacity,” which is your present ability to work despite any limitations caused by your condition. Other factors – real-world factors that are important to you – are irrelevant to the Social Security decision-maker, including:

  • No jobs are available in your local area.
  • Jobs may be available, but you are not qualified for those jobs or do not want to do those jobs.
  • Any job that might be available does not pay enough to support your family.
  • No one will hire you.

The hypothetical nature of this last factor in the sequential evaluation process often is hard for applicants to understand. You can find more information about this and the other factors Social Security will consider in making the disability determination in your case in the articles listed under The Disability Evaluation Process in my Social Security Disability Library, located to the left.

Contact experienced Las Vegas social security disability attorney

I have seen first-hand how frustrating and overwhelming the Social Security application and appeals process can be for individuals and their families. If you are feeling anxious about this process, and you would like to talk with a Las Vegas social security disability attorney who knows what you are going through and has the knowledge, experience and resources to help, please contact me. I handle claims for Social Security Disability Insurance (SSDI) and Supplemental Security Income (SSI) benefits, at all stages of the application and appeals process. I also help individuals who are facing a termination of benefits following a continuing disability review. Over the course of my career, I have handled over 15,000 disability hearings. You do not have to deal with the Social Security bureaucracy on you own. Use the Free Claim Evaluation form on this page to tell me about your situation, or call or email me directly.

I wish you well.