Explaining you can’t work



You’ve had to quit, resign or were fired because you couldn’t keep up the pace of your last job or jobs. Your pain and/or limitations kept you from completing the tasks that you used to excel at. You call a disability lawyer and tell them that you can’t work and there are not any jobs in your part of the world that you would be qualified to do. Your reasoning makes sense – if you live in the southern part of Colorado, for example, there are fewer jobs in the tech industry than in the Denver area. Plus if you’re unable to drive, how are you supposed to get there?

Here is the catch – the decision regarding whether you are 1) able to work; and 2) there are jobs in the national economy that you could do is reserved for the administrative law judge. The ALJ is familiar with the rules and regulations of the social security administration. The determination must be based on the framework outlines in the SSA’s rules and supported by objective medical evidence. As a result, if you are in a hearing and tell the ALJ that you frankly cannot work and that there aren’t any jobs that you can do, it may cause irritation. The best approach is to focus on your limitations in your testimony, or thoroughly go over them with your disability lawyer.