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Posts tagged "Social Security Disability Appeals"

The impact of the government shutdown on Social Security disability

October 2013 image.jpgAll sorts of government programs, from the National Parks to National Monuments, to military bases, are closing due to the government shutdown.  As the government begins to close its doors for various services and projects, many disabled individuals are left wondering if they will continue to receive their Social Security disability checks, and for those still waiting for benefits they are left wondering what will happen to their case.

Experience makes the difference in Social Security Disability cases

A claimant may file an application for Social Security Disability benefits at any time after their disability begins, but the longer the claimant waits to file, the harder it can be to secure benefits. With the help of an attorney however, that process becomes much easier and the likelihood of success increases.

Family wins $206,000 in disability benefits after 9-year quest

Anyone who has applied for Social Security disability benefits in recent years here in Milwaukee knows that the wait can be long and the process, arduous. As the Social Security Administration continues to grapple with a record-breaking caseload, many disabled Wisconsin workers who are deserving of benefits are instead faced with denials and delays.

Report: Errors abound in Social Security disability decisions

For those in Wisconsin who have ever been in need of Social Security disability benefits, it must make your blood boil when you read news stories about SSDI fraud--people who do not deserve these benefits somehow making their way through the tedious application process. Many of us wonder how legitimate claims can be so often denied while fraudulent claims are approved.

Friends and Family Lend Helping Hand for Disability benefits

During an application for Social Security Disability benefits, family and friends can June 2012 image.jpglend a helping hand by providing supporting evidence at various stages. The first is completing a Function Report - Adult - Third Party. This is a form sent by Social Security asking that someone other than the claimant but familiar with them to describe the claimant's disability, daily life activities and provide any other supporting information.

Appealing an unfavorable Social Security disability decision to the Appeals Council

The process by which Social Security disability benefits are secured can be long and frustrating, requiring several levels of appeals. With a significant number of claims denied at the initial and reconsideration level, the best opportunity for an award of benefits is at Hearing Level before an Administrative Law Judges.

Proving disability for claimant's with Postural Orthostatic Tachycardia Syndrome ("POTS")

Recently, we were able to secure Social Security Disability benefits for our client with Postural Orthostatic Tachycardia Syndrome, or POTS. Based on the medical records and a written submission, benefits were awarded without the need for a hearing by an Administrative Law Judge.

Appeals Council Reverses Madison ALJ's Decision - Awards Social Security Benefits

At a time when disabled individual's are waiting months, and sometimes years, to appear before an Administrative Law Judge for a hearing on their application for Social Security DisabilityNovember 2011 image.bmp benefits, it is imperative that the ALJ's consider all the evidence and make sound decisions. When an Administrative Law Judge fails to properly consider the evidence however, an appeal is necessary.

In this case, the claimant had a hearing in Madison before an Administrative Law Judge. She was a 51-year old woman with less than a high school education. Her past relevant work experience was as a Certified Nursing Assistant. Her disability primarily resulted from neuropathy in her feet and legs, which made it difficult for her to walk, requiring regular use of a cane and exposed her to the risk of falling. She also had a mental impairment that affected her memory and speech, and on occasion resulted in episodes where she blacked out but did not lose consciousness. According to Social Security's definitions, the claimant was also considered obese.

The Administrative Law Judge heard testimony not only from the claimant but from Medical and Vocational experts. The vocational expert testified that the claimant's restrictions and limitations, especially the use of a cane would preclude work above a sedentary level. Social Security's guidelines dictate that an individual of the claimant's age without a high school education restricted to sedentary work is considered disabled. The Administrative Law Judge however, declared that the claimant was capable of light work, without providing support in the record for his conclusion, and denied benefits.

With the help of Attorney Jennifer Allen, the claimant filed an appeal of the ALJ's decision, identifying the many missteps taken by the ALJ to deny the claimant's benefits. The Appeals Council reviewed the claimant's case and determined that the ALJ had not properly considered all elements of the claimant's conditions and resultant restrictions and limitations. Rather than remand the case back to Madison however, the Appeals Council reversed the ALJ's decision, issued a fully favorable decision, and awarded the claimant her benefits, resulting in almost 4 years of past due benefits. This successful appeal is just another reason why disabled individuals should contact an attorney when applying for Social Security Disability benefits.

Thumbnail image for Thumbnail image for JJA Profile Picture.jpgAttorney Jennifer J. Allen is an associate attorney with Alan C. Olson & Associates, S.C. If you have any questions about Social Security Disability, please contact her at [email protected].

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