October, 2017 Katherine’s Fully Favorable Social Security Decision out of Scituate, MA and the Boston, MA Hearing Office
When an Administrative Law Judge reviews a Social Security disability claim, such as in this case involving a Boston, MA Social Security judge, they enter the process blind as to the character of the individual upon which they are about to cast judgment. It is the job of one’s Social Security disability lawyer to present not only the entire medical history but also, if possible, a better glimpse into the disabled claimant they represent. Certainly, in Katherine’s circumstances, there was a lot to recommend her as both a hard working and caring individual who had endeavored to persist at her job despite great medical hurdles.
Katherine is in her 50’s and became disabled after working many years running her own cleaning business and then, after becoming disabled from significant orthopedic problems involving her cervical spine, turned to work assisting the elderly as a home health aid. Katherine was initially working with a social security lawyer that her insurance carrier recommended to her. After being denied initially on her application out of the Quincy, MA Social Security Administration (SSA) District Office, she decided to seek representation with our office.
As we advise all of our clients, we advised Katherine that there is a high denial rate on appeal at the reconsideration level, and that she should expect another denial at reconsideration at which point we will appeal for a hearing before an Administrative Law Judge (where she stood her best chance at winning). What was not apparent or pointed out at the time Katherine was initially applying was the extent to which she required treatment for significant medical issues prior to going out of work entirely (and even subsequent). Moreover, a review of the initial file being reviewed by SSA made evident the fact that, even though an attorney was involved in her claim, medical records were missing from her primary care physician for the year leading up to when she had gone out of work. Having an attorney who specializes in Social Security disability and is up on the latest Social Security medical evidence rules and regulations is essential to ensuring everything is done to properly document your disability claim.
Likewise, the same attorney had failed to suggest that they see about obtaining medical opinions from her treatment provides as to the nature of her medical problems and the extent to which they were impacting her ability to function. Katherine had been treating religiously with the same primary care physician for 20 years and her treating urologist for 4 years. Both of these providers understood what Katherine had been working through, and were happy to comment as to how these conditions were impacting her potential ability to undertake functions necessary at a work site.
By the time we reached the date of her hearing, we had submitted 20 additional medical record exhibits which included very telling medical questionnaires from her treatment providers that set forth a much different picture than had been available at the hearing level. And this is an example why one should have a zealous, private Social Security disability attorney versus someone suggested by an insurance company. The presiding ALJ was clearly impressed with Katherine and viewed her as someone who had made extraordinary efforts to assist others, even while experiencing significant medical problems of her own, but simply could not maintain a job any longer. He granted Katherine a fully favorable decision at hearing.
Should you find, as Katherine stated to us when she initially contacted us, that it seemed whatever her lawyer was doing was only making things worse, call the Law Offices of Russell J. Goldsmith at (800) 773-8622 and see how we can make a difference for you.