When someone thinks about Social Security disability, they probably think about medical records first and foremost. After all, Social Security defines disability as the “inability to do any substantial gainful activity by reason of any medically determinable physical or mental impairment which can be expected to result in death or which has lasted or can be expected to last for a continuous period of not less than 12 months.” Social Security must look at a person’s ability to do sustained work-related physical and mental activities in a work setting on a regular and continuing basis. A “regular and continuing basis” means 8 hours a day, for 5 days a week, or an equivalent work schedule. See Social Security Ruling 96-8p.
The focus, therefore, is usually on the records that prove the necessary medical impairment. But we can’t overlook the “substantial gainful activity” part of the equation. In a recent case, we were able to use employment records to show that a claimant was having extreme difficulty in performing his sedentary, skilled job. Here’s an example of how those records were integral to winning the case.
This claimant was educated with a great work history in a primarily seated, skilled occupation but had multiple physical and mental impairments that made it hard for him to consistently attend work 5 days per week, 8 hours per day. Luckily, his company kept great electronic records of his sick and vacation leave. Thanks to this, our claimant was able to obtain a lengthy record of the many days of work he missed leading up to his last days on the job because he needed medical treatment or simply couldn’t make it in because of his symptoms.
Using these records helped us prove that the claimant was not able to do sustained work on a regular and continuing basis. I would recommend that anyone who has access to these types of records should keep a copy if they intend to file for Social Security disability benefits.
If you are filing for disability, our disability attorneys and representatives are happy to help you with your claim. Gardberg & Kemmerly specializes in helping the injured and disabled in Alabama and the Gulf Coast. Please call one of the experienced disability representatives at Gardberg & Kemmerly, P.C. at 251-343-1111 for a free consultation. Gardberg & Kemmerly specializes in helping the injured and disabled in Alabama, Mississippi, Florida, and Louisiana.