NHBA
Massachussets Bar Association
Maine state Bar
NOSSCR

Kimberly’s Fully Favorable Decision out of the Littleton, NH Social Security Office

Kimberly is a hardworking single mother who had undertaken her initial claim out of the Littleton, NH Social Security Administration (SSA) office and contacted our office looking for a New Hampshire Social Security lawyer upon receiving her initial denial. Kimberly had been in a serious accident which resulted in a severe brain injury, following which she developed blood clot issues in her leg which then required a surgical procedure and insertion of a stent.

Kimberly found herself in the very difficult position of not having any sources of income following her accident. That being said, she felt the need to apply for Social Security disability benefits not understanding the duration requirement that she show her conditions will remain severe and disabling, despite prescribed treatment, for what will be a year or longer. Given her early application, it remained unclear to SSA at this early stage what the course of Kimberly’s recovery would be: and truth be told, Kimberly remained similarly unsure. That being said, a prompt denial of her claim followed and the only course of appeal at that point in time (as the regulations now provide for a Request for Reconsideration in the State of New Hampshire) was for a Request for Hearing .

With the state agency having medical records for only up to 5 months following her accident and missing the vast majority of the records, and with no treating source addressing the severity of her condition and how it impacts her ability to function, it was going to be incumbent on the presiding Administrative Law Judge (ALJ) to review the a substantial package of medical records that filled in the gaps for the period of time leading up to the hearing. Kimberly, to her credit, remained in significant ongoing treatment during the year which followed: seeing a physical therapist and occupational therapist for the continuing cognitive dysfunction and physical dysfunction associated with her gait, and with her treating neurologist, who managed her ongoing treatment for headaches and cognitive dysfunction associated with her head/brain injury. In addition to this very targeted specialist care, Kimberly remained in ongoing care and oversight of her medical problems with her primary care physician. Each of these providers were willing to assist our office with presenting their opinions as to the nature and severity of her ongoing problems and how they were impacting both her day and her days.

Kimberly’s work ethic as evidenced by her consistent work history at very demanding positions, while at the same time raising her children on her own, which is not to mention her significant efforts at regaining her life through consistent and zealous medical treatment with specialists, served as our best tools for succeeding in her claim. Upon presentation of a detailed argument, a significant package of additional treatment records, and medical questionnaires from each of her providers, made clear to the presiding ALJ that Kimberly would certainly have returned to some manner of employment if she were capable. While issues involving headaches and cognitive issues are difficult to prove objectively, and to the satisfaction of SSA without the need to proceed to hearing, treatment with a specialist (a neurologist) assisted with that process through the treatment records presented. Likewise the physical therapist and occupational therapist, through their ongoing care, regularly documented both their objective findings during examination and treatment and the extent to which her difficulties were present problems both with her regular attendance and with her attempts at undertaking therapy exercises and tasks.

We were gratified to see that the presiding ALJ saw fit to provide Kimberly and her family with the benefits they so needed and deserved without the need to undergo the stress of a hearing process. Needless to say, the call we made to Kimberly upon learning of the judge’s review of our request resulted in a huge sigh of relief both emotionally and, subsequently, financially for Kimberly.

If you or a family member you love is finding themselves in desperate straits following a severe illness or injury that has caused the rails to fall off the track, reach out to an experienced Social Security disability lawyer to get the answers you need to get the train back on the track. Call the Law Offices of Russell J. Goldsmith now at (800) 773-8622.