February, 2016: Anthony’s case: A Request for Reconsideration in Massachusetts, while Difficult, Can Prove Successful
Anthony is a gentleman in his early 50’s who had a long and productive work history with the defense industry until such time as he was struck down with a very rare virus that he contracted from a deer tick bite. The effects of this virus were profound, causing him to experience cognitive impairments, headaches along with problems with his balance and motor skills. Anthony had filed the application on his own out of the Lawrence, Massachusetts Social Security office without the benefit of a lawyers’ assistance. Therefore, other than the medical records that had been obtained, no one had assisted Anthony with obtaining the types of medical documentation that might serve to support his claim for Social Security disability benefits (SSDI).
Anthony contacted our office after he had already been denied his claim and was in need of filing a Request for Reconsideration. Unfortunately, the denial rate on reconsideration is quite high in Massachusetts and in most circumstances, such an appeal results in rubber stamp denial that mirrors that of his initial denial.
As zealous Social Security disability lawyers should do, we worked with Anthony to explain the types of treatment he should be undertaking on an ongoing basis (given the need to have documented in his doctors’ reports that he has remained functionally disabled from performing physical activities that are necessary for employment in a competitive work situation). This allowed Anthony to go back to some of the doctors he had not seen in some time so as to ensure there was proper documentation as to how he was continuing to fare. It is important to remember that in order to receive Social Security disability benefits that one show that they have remained totally disabled from all forms of gainful employment, despite prescribed treatment for a year or longer. Without the return to the doctors and the additional documentation, it was impossible for the disability adjudicators to assess how functionally disabled Anthony continued to remain. Likewise, we assisted Anthony with filling out both the disability report appeal form along with the Adult Function Report (which he had undertaken in a very cursory fashion the first time around). The appeal was assigned to the Boston, MA office of Disability Determination Services (the state agency responsible for making the medical determination at the reconsideration level). We worked with them to ensure that they have the proper documentation necessary to ensure that this inappropriate denial was indeed turned around.
While the reconsideration denial rate is close to 80%, I am happy to report that the work we undertook with Anthony served to win the day for him (and ensured, in this way, that he would not have to wait what would be longer than a year to get in front of an Administrative Law Judge at the Boston, MA Office of Disability Adjudication and Review). Instead of having to go through what could have been the better part of a two (2) year wait for a hearing, I am happy to note that Anthony was able to obtain benefits within 3 ½ months of contacting his Massachusetts Social Security lawyer.
If you are someone you knows has been struggling in their attempts to receive the Social Security disability benefits to which they are entitled, contact the Law Offices of Russell J. Goldsmith at 1-800-773-8622 so we can provide you with the advice, and potentially assistance, you require with the claim.