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Maine state Bar

March, 2011: A Stellar Work History and the Will to Work: a Perfect Combination in NH

Our latest success story involves Brenda's case, as we have just received a fully favorable decision in her claim from the the Manchester, NH Office of Disability Adjudication and Review.  Brenda’s clam is yet another example of how an individual with a stellar work history and the honesty of a saint can still be required to go through a lengthy appeals process and ultimately be required to testify at a hearing in front of an administrative law judge in order to receive benefits.

Brenda came to our office after being denied at the initial claim level.  She had filed her claim out of the Portsmouth, NH Social Security field office, and her case was transferred to the state agency office responsible for deciding her claim, Disability Determination Services out of Concord, NH.  Brenda had worked for many years consistently, working her way up to a store manager position (and a very valued employee for her company). Unfortunately, her work required a great deal of repetitive hand and arm use that left her quite debilitated at her workplace. She would continue to take time off from work and then return with rather extreme accommodations, only to find that she would suffer additional setbacks that would require hr to go back out of work as a result of injuries to her upper extremity. Brenda left work at a point in time which did show a series of significant pay increases over a 20 year work history with the same company. She was able to show the Social Security Administration (SSA) repeated attempts at returning to work (only to suffer exacerbations of her condition, notwithstanding the significant accommodations her employer was making for her). She undertook trial after trial of injections, medications, therapy and even surgery. Nothing worked sufficiently to allow Brenda to use her hands meaningfully at a work place (not to mention, at home).  Thus, not realizing that she was doing so, Brenda was providing evidence to SSA that she was truly disabled from all forms of gainful employment despite prescribed treatment.

However, notwithstanding her work history and treatment history, it became necessary for her to go to an Administrative Law Judge hearing as the type of repetitive arm injuries from which Brenda was suffering does not by the very nature of those conditions in and of itself suggest that someone would be as disabled as Brenda clearly was from these conditions.  Brenda's case is certainly an excellent example of how an honest, hardworking individual who has exhausted treatment options will come across as a very honest and deserving individual should it become necessary to proceed to hearing. Unfortunately, Brenda had not attempted to contact a NH Social Security lawyer prior to initiating her claim.  However, once she did contact our office, we went about obtaining additional helpful documentation from her medcial provides to assist in proving her case. 

Brenda’s story certainly resonated with the Administrative Law Judge hearing her case out of the Manchester, NH Offices of Disability Adjudication and Review: she appeared like a star given what was evident from both her and the record.  She obviously would rather be working than waiting for a Social Security disability check. 

We are happy to be able to say that Brenda receive a fully favorable decision shortly following the hearing and that these benefits have proven to make life much easier for Brenda and her family.  If you are faced with an unknown future in light of a disabling medical condition or conditions, you should contact our office at (800) 773-8622 for a free evaluation as to how we may be able to assist you with a claim.