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May, 2010: Showing the Struggle to Work in the State of Maine

I am happy to report that we have received notice of a new, fully favorable decision in Alison’s claim out of the Portland, Maine Office of Disability Adjudication and Review.   This could not have happened to a more deserving individual.

Alison is a woman in her mid-forties who had been working for a number of years, struggling from Diabetes Mellitus, Type II with diabetic neuropathy issues that were affecting her face, her hands and her leg.   She had initially filed her claim out of the Rockland, Maine Social Security office without the benefit of a Social Security lawyer and was denied on her initial claim.  Unfortunately, she likewise filed her request for reconsideration on her own and Maine’s Disability Determination Services once again denied her claim when she chose to contact our office.

What became very clear upon learning of Alison’s circumstances is that she had a very strong and consistent work history.  She had managed to continue working as an administrative assistant in an office setting for a number of years, but over time her condition worsened to the point where she first had to reduce her schedule to 20 hours per week before having to discontinue work entirely. Her condition only worsened, and Alison was finding herself falling asleep at the wheel as she was driving home. She was having swings in her sugar levels and the pain was becoming unbearable. Inexplicably, the Social Security Administration denied her claim and it thus became necessary to undertake the appeals process with her.

Prior to our involvement, however, no treating physician had addressed the extent of Alison's functional limitations. Upon getting involved with her case, our first item of business was to see about getting a Diabetes Mellitus Residual Functional Capacity Questionnaire and a Physical Residual Functional Capacity Questionnaire in support of her claim. Given she had been denied on her initial application and on reconsideration by the time of our involvement, it became necessary to move forward with a request for hearing. Alison and I attended a hearing in front of one of my favorite judges in New England who saw quite clearly what a travesty it was that Alison had been denied previously.  The presiding Administrative Law Judge served to set the wheels of justice in proper motion by providing her with a fully favorable decision. Alison's favorable decision is serving to provide some much needed income to her family, who has struggled financially given her inability to work. Handling these cases reminds me that we are all one illness away from needing disability benefits: it is scary to see how cavalierly at times the Social Security Administration can deny those that are desperately in need of these benefits. 

If you are someone you love is struggling with their medical conditions and with their ability to maintain a job.   Encourage them to seek the advice of a Social Security disability lawyer who specializes in this area of the law: it may turn out to make a significant difference in their obtaining the assistance they need to survive.  We at the Law Offices of Russell J. Goldsmith are happy to speak with you: please feel free to contact us at (800) 773-8622.