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Understanding Vocational Experts

disability attorney in BuffaloIn some SSD cases, the administrative law judge (ALJ) might seek testimony from a vocational expert (VE). While the judge often appoints their own expert, your Social Security disability lawyer in Buffalo could also introduce testimony from a VE. Even if your Social Security disability attorney in Buffalo does not call a VE, they could offer a written opinion from their own VE in the case. 

The Role of a Vocational Expert

When people think of expert testimony, they often think of medical experts. However, VEs are used much more frequently in SSD cases than medical experts. However, our Social Security disability attorney in Buffalo has discovered that VEs do not always have the same type of training and background, so, when they testify, they could offer a wide range of opinions because of huge differences in their experience and knowledge. In addition, our Social Security disability attorney in Buffalo has found that they could be prejudiced against clients.

The Purpose of a Vocational Expert

The SSA uses VEs in order to prove that they have the right to deny benefits. However, our Social Security disability lawyer in Buffalo reports that the judge is usually seeking a further explanation and more details about a person’s disability. While the Medical-Vocational Guidelines provide some information, the testimony of a witness gives a personal touch and allows for give-and-take dialogue in the case. The VE elaborates on the ability of the claimant to work when considering work history, age and education.

Our Social Security disability lawyer in Buffalo will review options for expert testimony with you, including the possibility of putting a vocational expert on the stand or submitting a written opinion. If you have questions about your SSD case, call Pashler & Devereaux at 716-874-1739.

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Two Mistakes to Avoid in Your SSD Case

Buffalo veteran disability law firmTo minimize mistakes in your SSD case and ensure that the SSA gets all the required information, you should retain a knowledgeable Buffalo disability lawyer.

Your Buffalo disability lawyer will steer you away from the following two major mistakes by claimants:

  • Failure to appeal. More than 50% of applicants fail to deny appeals, and many claimants whose request for reconsideration is denied does not request a hearing.
  • Failure to receive the necessary medical treatment. This is not common, but it is still a serious mistake. When those who suffer from long term chronic medical problem don’t experience improvements, they sometimes feel let down by doctors and stop doctor visits. But your Buffalo disability lawyer will urge you keep seeing your doctor for both medical and legal purposes. You need medical treatments if you suffer from chronic medical problems, and records from treatments can be used to prove your disability.

You don’t have to send medical records to the SSA, since they will obtain them by themselves. You have the option of sending them a doctor’s letter, but you should discuss this with your Buffalo disability attorney first. A few people do win their cases by using letters written by their doctors, but because medical issues are generally complicated in disability cases, a doctor may mistakenly offer a wrong impression in his letter. It’s always safe to let your lawyer handle acquisition of medical reports.

If you require a Buffalo disability lawyer to assist you with applying for SSD benefits, please call the law offices of Pashler & Devereau at 716-874-1739 (P) or fax us at 716-531-4923. Your case evaluation is absolutely free.

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Finding of Disability

Buffalo Social Security disability lawyerAs you progress with your Social Security case, your Buffalo Social Security disability attorney is responsible for informing you of the process ahead. The most important aspect of your case that a Buffalo Social Security disability attorney is the finding of disabled.

Listing of Impairments

One way that your Buffalo Social Security disability attorney may explain that you can be found to be disabled is by meeting one of the conditions found in the Listing of Impairments. This list contains different medical findings. Your Buffalo Social Security disability attorney can explain that if you meet these findings, you will be found to be disabled without the court or administration reviewing your ability to perform past relevant work. Additionally, a Buffalo social security disability attorney can explain to you that you can be found to fall under the Listings if you have an impairment that is equivalent in severity to a different impairment that is part of the Listing. A Buffalo social security disability attorney can explain factors that may affect whether you fall under the Listings. For example, your Buffalo social security disability lawyer may tell you that a treating doctor’s opinion can play a role in this finding. However, your Buffalo social security disability lawyer will also explain that the Social Security Administration makes the final decision regarding whether your condition coincides with the Listings.

Medical-Vocational Guidelines

The other way that a Buffalo Social Security disability attorney can explain you can be found disabled is to qualify under the Medical-Vocational Guidelines. After showing that you cannot perform past relevant work, these guidelines serve as a framework for decision makers. Based on a person’s age, work, education and RFC, a decision-maker can determine whether a person is considered disabled or not.

Legal Assistance

If you would like to find out if your condition should qualify you for disability because you meet the Listing of Impairments or the Medical-Vocational Guidelines suggest that you are so disabled, a Buffalo social security disability lawyer may be able to help. Contact Pashler & Devereaux at (716)874-1739 for more information.

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Developing Strong Testimony in an SSD Case

Buffalo Social Security disability attorneyWhen a witness needs to testify in an SSD case, their testimony could potentially help or hurt the claimant. Our Buffalo SSD attorney can work with witnesses so they have more confidence when they are on the stand. In addition, our Buffalo SSD lawyer provides examples of strong and weak testimony so that clients understand the difference between the two.

Examples of Strong and Weak TestimonyIn weak testimony, the witness will simply state that the plaintiff suffers from the impairment, such as lupus or multiple sclerosis. However, if the lay person is a not a medical professional, they might not accurately represent the disability, which could be caused by other underlying factors. Our Buffalo SSD attorney has also observed that a strong testimony will include a statement from a doctor, descriptions of the person’s actions that characterize the condition and observations of how many times the witness has observed the condition. Even if the disorder is labeled incorrectly, the judge will seriously consider the specific description of the symptoms. Talk to our Buffalo SSD attorney if you have further questions about testifying.

Describing Symptoms Instead of Diagnosing the Claimant

Instead of placing a specific label on a person’s condition, the witness should describe the person’s symptoms. For example, if the plaintiff suffers from COPD, the witness could explain that the person has difficulty breathing after the smallest amount of exertion. Our Buffalo SSD attorney recommends taking this approach in order to allow the court to make their own decisions regarding diagnosis. At this point, the nature of the condition is not the focus, but the judge will want to fully understand the effects of the disability on the person’s daily life. Remember, according to our Buffalo SSD attorney, a medical professional can fill in additional information on a specific diagnosis.

If you need help with your testimony in court, call our Buffalo SSD lawyer. You can reach Pashler & Devereaux at our New York disability law firm at 716-874-1739. Our Buffalo SSD attorney is waiting for your call.

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Orthopedic Disabilities from Military Service

kathleenService members often suffer orthopedic disabilities when serving in active duty status. You do not need to have been seen action to qualify for benefits. If you have been disabled, however, it is very important that you consult a Buffalo veterans disability law firm

How Orthopedic Injuries Occur on Duty
A lawyer at a Buffalo veterans disability law firm can attest to the dangers our military personnel face each day, even when they aren’t overseas. Loading trucks, hauling munitions and carrying loads on practice treks take their toll. In some cases individuals do not experience problems until years afterward, as the damage often tends to be cumulative.

The representative you speak with at your Buffalo veterans disability law firm will tell you that service-connected disability benefits for orthopedic injuries long after leaving the service can be somewhat problematic, but not impossible. Part of the difficulty is in ascertaining to what degree military service contributed to the disability. Moreover, because everything in the body works together, damage to one part can cause injury to another. For instance, if one suffers injury to a leg, the spine can ultimately be affected as well.

A Buffalo Veterans Disability Law Firm Can Help
An attorney can help you prove that an orthopedic disability you have incurred is the result of your military service. This will entail a review of the types of duties you performed, what types of training exercises you engaged in, whether you suffered injury during your active service, etc. Should you suffer soft-tissue injuries, your lawyer will work to prove that they cause such disruption to your ability to engage in basic activities as to render you disabled.

Call a Buffalo Veterans Disability Law Office Today
If you have suffered an orthopedic disability that you believe stems from active military service, contact a Buffalo veterans disability law firm today. Call Pashler & Devereaux at 716-874-1739 (FAX 716-531-4923).

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Determining Disabiltiy


A Buffalo social security disability attorney can tell you that regulations related to making a determination of disability are usually applied to those physical impairments that affect a person’s ability to sit, stand, walk, lift, bend or work with their hands. Additionally, a Buffalo social security disability attorney can explain that claims related to mental impairments are usually more complicated. Ultimately, you and your Buffalo social security disability attorney will work together to try to meet your burden of proof of showing that you are disabled.

Under Age 50

For this age group, your Buffalo social security disability attorney will explain that you cannot perform a job that requires a lot of sitting or a job that alternates between sitting and standing.

Under Age 55

At this age, your Buffalo social security disability attorney will explain that you must show that you cannot perform light work.

Age 55 and Up

Your Buffalo social security disability lawyer can explain that the requirement to prove disability is more lax at this age. Here, you must only show that you are unable to perform medium work. Your Buffalo social security disability lawyer can help you prove this information by asking you questions during your disability hearing. You may also answer questions posed to you by the judge. Furthermore, your lawyer can present evidence that proves these things.

If you would like more information about how you could be determined to be disabled, contact social security disability lawyer Chris Pashler by calling 716-874-1739 and scheduling a consultation.

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A Disability Lawyer in Buffalo Explains the Role of the Treating Physician in Social Security Disability Cases

disability lawyer in BuffaloAn important aspect of your Social Security disability case is the opinion of the doctor who is treating you. Your lawyer and administrative law judge will ask your doctor to provide an opinion and information about your disability.

What Is the Purpose of a Doctor’s Opinion in a Social Security Disability Case?

Your primary care doctor is the person who has the most information about your disability, says a disability lawyer in Buffalo. Since your doctor has been treating you, he or she will have the most detailed and complete picture of your impairment. Your physician will have a unique perspective that the ALJ would not be able to get from reading your medical reports. In most cases, the treating doctor’s opinion is given special consideration, says a disability lawyer in Buffalo.

What Information Should the Doctor Give to the Social Security Administration?

Your doctor may be asked to provide information about your impairment, including its duration, extent, severity and nature. In addition, the doctor might be asked to give an opinion about how your disability affects your daily life and how well you are able to function. The ALJ may ask the doctor about how your impairment affects your ability to perform work activities and whether you are capable of working for long stretches of time as would be expected in the workplace.

Another area of questioning, according to a disability attorney in Buffalo, may be about your doctor’s treatment for your medical condition. For example, what kinds of treatment has your doctor given you and are there any side effects. The ALJ will also want your doctor’s opinion about how long he or she expects your disability to impact your ability to work and function.

According to a disability lawyer in Buffalo, your doctor’s opinions will help the ALJ form an accurate picture of your disability and how it affects your ability to work. This is crucial to your case because the ALJ will be able to make an informed decision about your case if he or she has a clear understanding of your disability.

A disability attorney in Buffalo will be able to answer questions about your Social Security disability case. To schedule a consultation, please call Pashler & Devereaux, a New York Disability Law Firm at 716-874-1739.

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Information About Problems Sitting

disability attorney in BuffaloWhen you describe your disability to your disability attorney in Buffalo, you may discuss difficulties that you have with sitting. While everyone must shift after sitting for a certain period of time, it is important that you provide more information about your discomfort than by making this simple assessment.

Effective Testimony

Rather than offering a brief statement regarding your discomfort in sitting, your disability attorney in Buffalo may advise you to provide specific details about your condition. For example, you might mention that you can sit for longer periods of time, but you then experience discomfort when you move to another position later in the day. For example, you may have difficulty lying down after sitting for a brief period of time. Additionally, your disability attorney in Buffalo might ask you if your pain gets worse as the day progresses. You may also mention that you have to walk around for several minutes after sitting if this is the case. Additionally, your disability lawyer in Buffalo might try to get you to explain what steps you must take after you have been sitting for awhile.

Potential Questions

Your disability lawyer in Buffalo may ask you a series of questions aimed at getting a further explanation of your difficulty sitting. Some questions may include the following:

  • How long during a working day can you sit before experiencing pain?
  • Does your problem with sitting require you to need more breaks at your job?
  • What types of activities must you do on a break after a period of sitting, such as walking around, lying down or sitting in a recliner?
  • How many breaks would you require to assist you?
  • How long of breaks do you need?
  • Are you able to sit for awhile and then stretch and sit back down?
  • Do you have to alternate sitting and standing up?
  • Must you walk after you have been sitting and standing in one location?
  • How often must you walk around after sitting?

Contact Pashler & Devereaux – New New York Disability Law Firm at 716-874-1739 for more information.

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Pashler & Devereaux

SSD lawyer in BuffaloIf you can no longer hold down a job because of a physical or mental impairment, and you believe these limitations will keep you out of the work force for at least a year, you could be eligible for Social Security disability benefits. However, many people are sometimes intimidated by the process of filing for benefits. Our SSD lawyer in Buffalo can help ease your fears. With satisfied clients across the city, we focus on disability law and securing the benefits that are rightfully yours. After all, you spent years working and putting money into the Social Security system. When you need it, you should be able to collect.

Determined Representation From Beginning to End

While the documentation required to submit a claim is admittedly overwhelming, our SSD attorney in Buffalo can handle your case from beginning to end. We help clients with their initial application, walk them through the administrative hearing process and stay by their side in federal court. We represent people with all types of physical and mental ailments, such as depression, cancer of all kinds, diabetes, heart disease, auto-immune diseases, liver or kidney disease, amputations, chronic pain, vision or hearing loss, strokes, brain injuries, spinal disorders and much more. Our SSD lawyer in Buffalo has found that we can secure favorable outcomes for clients when we thoroughly understand your medical issues so that we can effectively present your case at a hearing or in court.

Making a Difference on Your Behalf

Our SSD lawyer in Buffalo focuses on two critical aspects of your case. First, we ensure that all the forms are properly completed when we submit your initial application. We also compile solid evidence from medical professionals regarding your disability. Our competent staff helps us gather the necessary paperwork in order to make a strong case on your behalf.

We know SSD law, and we are here to represent you. If you have questions about your eligibility status or any other aspect of an SSD case, contact Pashler & Devereaux – New York Disability Law Firm at 716-874-1739. Our SSD attorney in Buffalo will be glad to assist you.

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Understanding Exertional Levels of Your Prior Jobs

SSD attorney in BuffaloWhen discussing your claim for Social Security disability benefits with an SSD attorney in Buffalo, you may hear something about the Dictionary of Occupational Titles. This publication is used by the Social Security Administration to determine how to classify various jobs and occupations according to their exertional levels, or how physically taxing it is to perform a job.

The SSA relies heavily on the DOT. Many of the regulations and sources that govern Social Security disability were based on the DOT, even though the DOT was last revised in 1991 and is often criticized as being out of date. If you choose to proceed with your disability case, you will want to make sure your SSD attorney in Buffalo understands the DOT.

Many disability cases, as your SSD lawyer in Buffalo will explain, hinge on the question of what your prior jobs were and whether you are still able to perform them. To make this determination, the SSA will evaluate the “work levels” for each of your prior jobs within the last 15 years, according to a publication by the Department of Labor. According to prior versions of the DOT, work levels can be categorized in the following ways:

  • Sedentary jobs involve little more than sitting, walking and occasional standing; and
  • Light jobs involve significant amounts of walking or standing and possibly minor movements such as pushing or pulling objects with your arm or leg.

However, the 1991 revised version of the DOT updated the way that exertional level is determined. This change may make it easier for you and your SSD lawyer in Buffalo to refer to your past relevant work in your claim. The revised edition recognizes that a job that involves constant lifting is inherently more taxing than a job that involves occasionally lifting the same amount of weight. If you had a prior job that involved constant lifting of objects, you might be able to argue that the job was too taxing for you to do today.

To succeed with your disability claim, you will have to properly understand what the regulations say and how your prior work history will be evaluated. For more information about filing for disability, contact an SSD attorney in Buffalo. Call Pashler & Devereaux – New York Disability Law Firm at 716-874-1739.

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