People usually seek disability benefits because their symptoms are too severe for them to work. As a result, these disability claims require adjudicators to make credibility determinations. When it comes to Social Security Disability (“SSD”) benefits, an administrative law judge (“ALJ”) frequently has to make that determination.
We represent a 55 year old claimant from St. Albans who worked as a mail processor and home health aide with musculoskeletal impairments. I supplied the ALJ with legal opinions where the vocational experts testified those occupations provided no transferable skills. As a result, the Medical-Vocational Rule required finding the claimant disabled if she were limited to sedentary work.
I had previously filed a report from the claimant’s orthopedist, who provided less than sedentary functional assessments. Moreover, I had filed an EMG report that revealed chronic L5-S1 and C5-C6 radiculopathies, and eight (8) MRI reports revealing serious impairments in the thoracic, cervical and lumbar spine, both shoulders and elbows, and the right knee. That wealth of objective diagnostic test data is uncommon.
In light of the quantity and quality of the test reports, and the fact that the claimant had a 35 year work history, the case seemed ripe for an on-the-record (“OTR”) decision. Both of those factors strongly support a claimant’s credibility. ALJ Crawley agreed, and approved the OTR, which eliminated the claimant’s need to attend a hearing.
Our client originally filed for SSD on her own and retained us after her initial denial. She told us that she knew she was in good hands when she decided to retain us, and our ability to not only get her approved, but to get her approved without attending a hearing, was proof that her intuition was right.
Please feel free to call my office for a free phone consultation if you are planning on applying for disability. I have offices located in both Nassau and Suffolk counties on Long Island.
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