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Case Results

A patchwork of disabilities results in a victory of at Social Security Hearing

January 2020

When Ms. XX called me at the office, she was completely filled with anxiety. She and her husband were about to end their marriage due to her inability to earn a living as she used to do. Neither one of them could put their finger on the source of her disability. Her family was abandoning her. No one believed she was ill, either mentally or physically.

Ms. XX observed others who were receiving Social Security Disability Benefits and they, too, looked fine. One day she Googled “disability lawyers near me”, and my information popped up with lots of good reviews from my clients. This seemed to persuade her to call my office.

After 9 months of collecting medical records, writing specific letters to her many doctors, getting her to various medical testing to demonstrate to all who would review her condition. I was ready to present her case to a Judge at the Social Security Administration in early 2020. 

My client was under 50 years old, making it more difficult to win based on the SSA Regulations. My client had the functional capacity to work in a below sedentary capacity. The FCE examiner cited to my client's irritable bowel syndrome condition that has been extremely well documented by numerous physicians throughout the past 2-3 years.

My client was in psychotherapy for numerous conditions including depression, anxiety disorder, obsessive compulsive disorder, and bipolar disorder. She was in consistent, verifiable medical treatment.  A mental residual capacity document was completed by the mental service treatment provider demonstrating 9 of 20 categories that were determined to be markedly limited in functional abilities. Her psychiatrist reported severe GI symptoms, severe diarrhea, emotional instability to stress and irritability and these symptoms were expected to last indefinitely. 

We had to pull together numerous therapists, psychologists, psychiatrists, GI doctors and a neurologist to present a composite picture of my client's true disabilities.

The jobs my client performed over the last 20 years were all unskilled jobs with no ability for transfer of these skills to alternative employment. We asked the judge if we could use the date of her 50th birthday as the basis of a decision because the medical-vocational guidelines would allow disability status at 50 years of age and without transferable skills.

Once we used these facts, the vocational expert hired by the government was able to testify that given these factors there were no jobs in the national economy that my client could perform. The judge then found my client disabled as directed by Medical Vocational Rule 201.14 as of my client's 50th birthday.

To win this case, there were a number of moving parts that all needed to line up to favor my client's application for benefits. We seek to present a winnable theory of the case and determine if the multitude of medical records, with history and psychiatric treatment will conform to this theory. I do enjoy working with my clients to pursue a victory. So what is the extent of your disability? Will it meet the Medical Vocational Rules? Let's talk about it. Call me!

Thomas Brown

Attorney Thomas F. Brown, II has more than four decades of experience representing injured workers and helping them obtain the income benefits and medical treatment they need and deserve. Tom primarily practices in the workers' compensation area, representing injured workers exclusively. He also...

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