If you live or work in the Appleton or Fox Valley area, and are injured at work, or have a an off the job injury or disease that has permanently and severely impacted your ability to work and earn a living, then you may be eligible for Social Security Disability if you believe you are unable to work. The legal standard for work ability under Social Security Administration regulations is “Substantial Gainful Activity” (SGA). In every day terms, Substantial Gainful Activity is an activity level that allows you to work at some job that exists in substantial numbers in the economy and which allows you to earn what Social Security determines to be a living wage. If you cannot work at this SGA level due to a recognized illness or disability, then you can be found eligible for Social Security Disability. If you apply for Social Security Disability, you may receive a denial of your claim. Once you get this denial, you can apply for reconsideration of your claim, but you must do this within 60 days of receiving your denial. If your reconsideration request is denied, then you can apply for a hearing before an administrative law judge of the SSA, again within 60 days. This hearing before the judge is often the first real chance you have to get your entire case heard and considered carefully. You also have the chance to make arguments on your own behalf and cross exam or challenge evidence that the judge may have that is not in your favor. However, a lot happens at these ALJ hearings, and things move fast. If you don’t know how to challenge evidence and hypotheticals raised by the judge or other witnesses, your case may be lost. It is absolutely critical to challenge adverse testimony and evidence with facts and evidence from your doctor, and present critical details that may make all the difference to the way the vocational expert or other expert witnesses testify. A tough and smart attorney, who is fighting for your rights, can present the facts from your file which are necessary to give you the best chance of winning. Your attorney can also cross examine experts who may say that there are jobs you can do, when the restrictions from your doctor show otherwise. Attorney John Jokela has been representing injured and disabled workers at Social Security Hearings for almost 20 years, and is a proven and relentless advocate for his clients. He knows the stakes, and knows how the procedures work, and he knows how to challenge the experts who say you can work when you know you can’t. If you want to talk to Attorney John Jokela, call him for a free consult about your case at 715-845-9000. John is also happy to travel to see you in the Appleton, Neenah, or Fox Valley. He works out of his Wausau office but represents good hard working people all over Wisconsin.