July, 2015: Linda’s Fully Favorable Decision prior to the Need for Hearing at the Boston, MA Office of Disability Adjudication and Review
Sometimes the work performed by your lawyer at the State Agency decision level (that is, at the initial decision and reconsideration levels) can go either unnoticed or totally ignored. Linda’s case is an example of how Disability Determination Services utterly ignored the strong evidence provided in support of Linda’s claim. Notwithstanding that fact, this case proves that persistence pays off.
Linda’s case involves that of a sixty (60) year old woman with a lengthy work history as an office manager at a medical practice which job she was able to continue working until such time as a number of medical conditions began hindering her ability to work, including medical issues with her ankle (requiring a fusion), replacement of her hips, fatigue, shortness of breath and depression. Towards the end of her employment, Linda was no longer able to work full time and her employer and, as a result, had to let her go (notwithstanding her many years of service to the business). Unfortunately, at the time we got involved in Linda’s case, her claim was languishing at Disability Determination Services as the claims adjudicator assigned to her case had left SSA and nobody had been reassigned to her claim. Upon our involvement, we were able to move Linda’s claim forward with a new adjudicator. However, the additional evidence we were able to obtain and provide shortly upon getting involved (which was from both her orthopedic specialist and her long-term primary care physician) were lost in the shuffle. Social Security’s reviewing doctor totally overlooked (as did the new disability adjudicator) the compelling evidence we had provided.
Additional review of Linda’s Social Security file revealed the fact that Linda’s orthopedic surgeon had been kind enough to address notes to her employer providing for significant functional limitations. These notes, however, did not get forwarded to the State agency deciding her claim at the time her treating surgeon provided his medical records for review. As Linda had the benefit of a vigilant Social Security disability lawyer on her side, we were able to ensure that all of the important documentation was obtained and made available for the presiding Administrative Law Judge (ALJ) review. In addition, by obtaining the detailed agency decision on reconsideration, we were able to see that while Linda’s doctors’ medical questionnaires obtained by our office had been received and were available for Social Security’s doctors to review at the time of their reconsideration decision, we were able to see that these records had clearly been overlooked in their rush to review the case once a new claims adjudicator had been assigned. By pointing out to the presiding ALJ the additional evidence that had been unavailable at the time of the prior agency decisions and the additional evidence we were now able to provide for their review, we were able to explain how a fully favorable decision was warranted without the need for Linda to come to a hearing and testify.
In order to ensure that your case is provided the proper attention it deserves, it’s important that you obtain a MA Social Security lawyer who will go the extra mile to ensure that you receive the benefits you deserve. Contact the Law Offices of Russell J. Goldsmith now at (800) 773-8622 for a free detailed analysis and assessment of your claim.