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What Does ‘Significant Numbers’ in the ‘National Economy’ Mean and How Can It Affect Your Disability Case in Connecticut?

Posted by James Aspell | Feb 23, 2022 | 0 Comments


Social Security Disability law can involve many steps. The pursuit of your benefits will involve an application, probably a hearing, and perhaps more processes after that. At every step, it is extremely valuable and perhaps make-or-break to have someone on your side who knows the disability legal system in complete detail. To get the benefits you deserve, be sure you have a knowledgeable Connecticut Social Security Disability attorney on your side.

Here's a real-life example. A claimant was  going through the process of obtaining Social Security Disability benefits. She claimed  that she was entitled to benefits based upon several mental and physical problems, some of which were results of an auto accident.

The woman's claim was not successful at first. The administrative law judge, after looking at the evidence, concluded that the woman was able to do work that existed in sufficient numbers. That's very important because, in order for you to meet the definition of “disabled” and qualify for benefits, the ALJ must decide that, not only do your impairments prevent you from doing your old job, but also they prevent you from doing any job that exists in substantial numbers in the national economy and for which you qualify, considering your age, education, and work experience. There is no black-and-white number for what does or does not constitute “significant numbers.”

When it comes to making a determination like that, the testimony of a vocational expert can be very important to the outcome of your case. In this case, the vocational expert testified that there were in excess of 5,000 sedentary guard jobs throughout the country. The vocational expert did not testify as to how many openings in this type of job were available regionally.

This testimony, according to the District Court, wasn't enough to uphold a decision that there was significant work for the claimant  in the national economy. The expert said over 5,000 jobs nationally but didn't say how much over 5,000 and didn't say how many of those jobs were available in the claimant's region. That missing evidence was important. Last September, a federal judge in Seattle concluded that an expert's evidence, which identified 10,000 jobs nationally but none locally, was insufficient to qualify as “significant numbers” in the national economy.

There are many very technical and very precise things that you must establish in order to succeed in your disability case. There is proof of your mental or physical maladies. There is proof of economic things, like the number of jobs you can do. All of these things require a detailed knowledge of the law, the process, and the type and volume of evidence required in order to get the benefits you need. Don't go into the process alone. Talk to the diligent and knowledgeable Connecticut injury  attorneys at James F. Aspell, P.C. Our attorneys have been, for years, providing the sort of detail-oriented representation you need to produce positive results. To make sure you get the award of benefits that you deserve, be sure you put our ability and skill to work for you.

Contact us today for a free, no-obligation consultation by calling 860-523-8783.

About the Author

James Aspell

Principal since August 1, 2006 James F. Aspell is the principal and managing attorney of the firm which he started in 2006 following 20 years of litigation practice in a mid -size firm in Hartford, Connecticut. Jim focuses his practice in the areas of worker's compensation and personal injury l...


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