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Awards of Social Security Disability (“SSD”) have decreased the past few years. SSD awards to claimants under 45 years of age have always been more difficult to obtain. On-the record (“OTR”) decisions have become rare in recent years. Today, I received an OTR for a 42 year old claimant with neck and back problems.
What does it take to obtain SSD benefits, without a hearing, for a younger person these days? The answer in this case was slews of abnormal diagnostic tests, multiple surgeries, and several supporting medical opinions. We submitted MRI and CT scan tests; pain management records, including epidural and other injection records and ablations; lumbar and cervical operative reports; pharmacy reports enumerating many potent narcotic pain killers, NSAIDS, and muscle relaxants; progress notes; and disability opinions from orthopedists, pain management specialists, physiatrist, and internist.
Despite the above, the State agency still managed to deny the SSD application. Fortunately, the ALJ assigned the case recognized the overwhelming amount of evidence supporting the claimant’s application, and approved the SSD benefits OTR, thereby saving the claimant the time, stress and trouble associated with a hearing.Previous Next
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