I represent a claimant who worked at the World Trade Complex and suffers from anxiety and post traumatic stress disorder, which commenced after the events of 9/11. The claimant’s mental impairments progressed to the point that he stopped working in January 2005, although he was unable to perform his duties for about a year before that date.
The claimant originally thought he had a neurologic as opposed to a psychological problem. Diagnostic testing was negative and a neurologist concluded the claimant had agoraphobia in 2004. In the interim, the claimant obtained anti-anxiety medication from his internist, but did not treat with a mental health professional until 2007.
There is a Social Security ruling that addresses the onset of a disability that is nontraumatic in origin. The Ruling provides that in disabilities of nontraumatic origin, the determination of onset involves consideration of the applicant’s allegations, work history, if any, and the medical and other evidence concerning impairment severity. The weight to be given any of the relevant evidence depends on the individual case. By establishing the claimant’s good work history, credibility, and retrospective medical opinion, the claimant was able to show that he was entitled to benefits before he started regular treatment with a psychologist.Previous Next
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