The Medical-Vocational Guidelines

Posted on Posted in Social Security Disability

The medical-vocational guidelines are often used in Social Security disability cases as a means of determining whether or not any jobs exist in substantial numbers in the national economy for particular combinations of residual functional capacity, work experience, age, and education levels. A Denver disability lawyer can also tell you that the guidelines also establish restrictions with respect to evaluating the impact of one’s work experience, education, and age in those cases where the rules themselves do not offer a clear conclusion as to whether or not a claimant is or is not disabled.

More specifically, with respect to individuals under the age of 50 (or under 45 if uneducated or unable to speak in English), the vocational expert’s job will be to figure out how many jobs you can do based on your residual functional capacity. If you have the ability to do a considerable amount of jobs, then you cannot be deemed disabled. It is the administrative law judge’s place to figure out what a “considerable amount” is. Judges often consult a vocational expert in borderline cases where the claimant’s exertional capacity is right in-between two rules that call for opposite conclusions.

If you speak to a Denver disability lawyer about your claim, he or she will tell you that the Medical-Vocational Guidelines clearly state that claimants who are the same age and who share similar educational backgrounds and work experience will be deemed to be disabled if they are restricted to doing only sedentary work; however, if the claimant can perform a variety of light work, he or she will be determined to be not disabled.

Despite the fact that many judges lean towards taking an “I know considerable numbers when I see them” approach, the regulations necessitate that total consideration of all pertinent facts be given in reference to the definitions and discussions under vocational considerations. Additionally, complete consideration must be given to all pertinent facts of the case in compliance with the definitions and discussions of each aspect of the appropriate sections of the regulations.

If you have questions about the medical-vocational guidelines and you need the assistance of an experienced Denver disability lawyer, please call the law office of John Cimino at (303) 830-7274 for a free consultation.