The Social Security Administration (SSA) is responsible for distributing payments for people with long-term disabilities who cannot work. However, the SSA can also revoke an application for long-term disability if it believes that the injured person can work in another capacity or job. If the SSA proposes alternate jobs a client feels he or she can’t reasonably do, the claimant can rule out the jobs.

The Role of the SSA

Long-term disability is for people who are seriously injured and unable to work or earn an income independently. The program’s purpose is to ensure that injured people are supported and provided enough income to pay for basic needs and medical expenses. If a person is unable to work, he or she may apply for long-term disability coverage. The SSA approves or denies applications for long-term disability coverage.

Denying Long-Term Disability Coverage

Part of a claim for long-term disability coverage is proof that the applicant cannot work because of his or her injuries. The applicant might submit proof of cancer, serious back injuries, or cardiovascular problems as evidence that he or she cannot work.

The SSA may either approve or deny the claim. If the SSA rejects the claim, it could argue for other jobs the applicant can perform and declare the applicant ineligible for coverage. The applicant may appeal the denial, sending the claim to an Administrative Law Judge (ALJ). The ALJ holds a hearing similar to a traditional trial. The applicant and government may submit evidence, take testimony, and hire lawyers to present arguments.

The applicant’s attorney may cross-examine the SSA’s expert at the hearing, who concluded that the applicant could work in other jobs. The SSA may argue that the applicant can work in sedentary office positions despite the injury.

Issues with Work

While office work isn’t as physically demanding as construction or logging, limitations prevent people from working in these jobs. Obstacles to these careers are:

  1. Injuries that require the applicant to recline during the day,
  2. Injuries that prevent the applicant from sitting for long periods,
  3. Injuries to the applicant’s dominant hand,
  4. Extreme fatigue, and
  5. Conditions that require the applicant to elevate his or her legs.

Any of these conditions could prevent an applicant from working a steady office job. Applicants may also suffer from cognitive impairments that foreclose their ability to work in an office, such as the inability to concentrate, deal with stress, or follow instructions.