Federal Social Security Disability Cases that affect you in North Carolina
North Carolina has three Federal District Court Divisions. This are is also governed by the Fourth Circuit Court of Appeals. If a claim is denied by an Administrative Law Judge and the Appeals Counsel, the next level of review is Federal District Court, then the Fourth Circuit Court of Appeal and finally the Supreme Court. The courts create what is known as case law that then must be followed in our area.
In our area, Social Security cannot require objection proof of pain. Hines v. Barnhart, 453 F.3d 559 (2006) Once a claimant establishes that he has medical conditions that could cause pain, he can prove disability through testimony regarding his pain and the problems the pain causes. Id. Susan O'Malley with our firm handled this case from the initial hearing all the way though to the Fourth Circuit of Appeals. This case law continues to help people in North Carolina obtain their disability benefits to this day.
A claimant can establish disability by showing that their non-exertional impairment prevent work. Bryant v. Astrue, 4:11-cv-61 (2012) A non-exertional impairment is a limitation that does not involve strength such as the ability to use your hands on a consistent basis. SSR 83-14.
Once a claimant proves that they cannot perform their past work, the burden shift to Social Security to show that there is other work the claimant could perform. Dickens v. Astrue, 5:10-cv-535 (2011) This is one of the reasons Social Security has a vocational expert present at most adults hearings. A vocational expert is allowed to testify to how limitations would affect a person's ability to perform certain types of work. The vocational expert only offers testimony. It is the judge who makes the decision regarding disability at the hearing level.
If you believe our knowledge of Federal Social Security Disability cases may help you with your Social Security disability claim. Please contact our Eastern NC or Raleigh office.