Many of you have to deal with swelling in one or both of your legs on a daily basis. The reason for the swelling varies. Sometimes it is caused by a heart or lung condition. Other times your swelling is caused by diabetes, obesity, arthritis, or acute trauma. No matter the reason, you may be entitled to Social Security Disability benefits if you need to elevate one or both of your legs to resolve swelling.
The Social Security Administration’s rulings and regulations do not address the need to elevate one or both of the legs. Nor does the Dictionary of Occupational Titles address whether a given job will allow an employee to elevate one or both of the legs.
Notwithstanding these omissions, SSA will consider the need to elevate one or both of the legs when determining whether you are entitled to Social Security Disability benefits or Supplemental Security Income (SSI). Depending on how high you need to elevate the leg and for how long you must do so during a working day, such a requirement may limit the range of sedentary work can you perform. In fact, many vocational experts in Social Security Disability cases have testified that my clients are not capable of competitive employment if the they have to elevate one or both of their legs above waist level for a significant portion of the day.
Vocational expert testimony on the need to elevate one or both legs can, however, cut both ways. If the administrative law judge (ALJ) hearing your case denies the claim based on vocational testimony that you can do a job even while elevating your leg to a certain height, a court will likely affirm that finding. See Shramek v. Apfel, 226 F.3d 809, 815 (7th Cir. 2000).
For more information on what it takes to win a claim for Social Security Disability benefits or Supplemental Security Income, contact Richmond Social Security Disability attorney Corey Pollard today. Your consultation is free.