July, 2015: Kenneth’s Fully Favorable Decision at the Boston, MA Office of Disability Adjudication and Review
Kenneth is a fifty-seven (57) year old gentleman with a lengthy history working as an electrician. He had worked as a union electrician for the better part of 40 years (his entire career) and over time had developed various orthopedic concerns, including degenerative disk disease of his back and knee problems which had required replacement surgery. Kenneth had decided to initiate the claim without the benefit of a MA Social Security lawyer and only sought representation at the point in time he had been denied twice (following the denial of his initial application and a subsequent reconsideration denial).
Given Kenneth did not have the benefit of an experienced Social Security attorney prior to this point in time, no treatment provider had been asked to address the severity of his medical conditions nor the extent to which his conditions impacted his ability to function in a work environment. Nor had his treatment providers been requested to address whether his medical conditions met any of Social Security’s medical listings of medical impairments that automatically qualify one for benefits. Kenneth’s primary care physician and his orthopedic specialist were both more than willing to assist us in addressing the severity of Kenneth’s medical conditions, the treatment efforts that had been made and the extent to which his conditions would continue to cause him difficulties with functioning in a work environment.
Given Kenneth was 57 years old and had worked a very physically demanding job his entire life, the Social Security rules and regulations recognize the fact that individuals without transferable skills would find it very difficult to find less physically demanding jobs. The Social Security regulations contain what are called the Medical Vocational Guidelines (or what is referred to as the Grid Rules), which would apply in this type of case. The Grid rules provided that, in Kenneth’s case, where he had at least a high school education, was considered of advanced age and did not have any acquired jobs skills that would allow him to transfer to other jobs in a sedentary work environment, he should be found disabled if in fact he is limited to a sedentary work capacity.
Indeed, both Kenneth’s primary care physician and his orthopedic specialist spelled out a set of functional limitations that limited him to less than a full sedentary work capacity. Given the additional evidence we were able to obtain upon getting involved, we quickly undertook an argument brief on Kenneth’s behalf. With this additional evidence in hand at the time of our argument brief, the presiding Administrative Law Judge (ALJ) was convinced of Kenneth’s entitlement to benefits. The ALJ found Kenneth disabled under Social Security’s Grid rules and granted him benefits based on his finding that even if he could perform the full range of sedentary work, he would meet a particular Grid Rule as we had maintained. Thus, Kenneth was provided with a fully favorable decision prior to the need to proceed to hearing, providing Kenneth with some very welcome financial relief.
The moral of the story is that if you are suffering from seriously disabling conditions and do not feel capable of returning to work as a result of your conditions, contacting a MA Social Security lawyer who is knowledgeable of the Social Security laws as they can make all of the difference in your case. You should not delay further in contacting the Law Offices of Russell J. Goldsmith at (800) 773-8622 for a free evaluation of your case.