Case Results

PROGRESSION OF GOUT AND MEDICATION SIDE EFFECTS LEADS TO FULLY FAVORABLE DECISION IN SOCIAL SECURITY CLAIM

Judge Foley approved benefits to a claimant based on progressive gout. The claimant in this case was a banker and had a very sedentary job. By putting in over 6 years of longitudinal records from his rheumatologist, claimant was able to show the progression of his symptoms. What had started as simple gout in the feet had spread over the years to his knees, wrists, elbows and hands. The medications used to control these symptoms had severe side effects which left the claimant nauseated. Therefore, despite the claimant being a younger individual, the Judge was able to conclude the claimant could not perform even sedentary work due to the combination of pain and medication side effects. The case was handled by attorney Leslie Riviere, Esq.

SOCIAL SECURITY BENEFIT SUSPENSION RECINDED FOR VETERAN STILL FEELING THE EFFECTS OF POST TRAUMATIC STRESS DISORDER

A fully favorable decision dated from Judge Messina involved an Iraq war veteran. The claimant had been seriously injured when his Bradly armored vehicle hit an IED. Due to his massive lower leg injuries the claimant was originally awarded disability benefits, but the Social Security Administration determined the claimant had improved sufficiently that the benefits could be suspended. Attorney Leslie Riviere was able to show that the claimant was still suffering the effects of a closed head injury and PTSD to an extent that prohibited gainful employment, and benefits were continued.

CARDIAC CONDITION LEADING TO MISSED TIME FROM WORK, SUFFICIENT TO PROVE ELIGIBILITY FOR SOCIAL SECURITY DISABILITY

An fully favorable decision was based upon the claimant's cardiac condition, and the progression of the condition over several years. Despite medication management, the claimant's heart condition left him weak and dizzy. This created a hazard for his employer's, as the claimant had passed out at work on several occasions. By introducing copies of the claimant's payroll records, we were able to demonstrate that even part-time work required too much physical effort and therefore the claimant was permanently disabled. The decision was from Judge Paul Johnston and the case was handled by attorney Leslie Riviere, Esq.

PARENT OF DECEASED CHILD SHOWN TO BE GREIVING MANY YEARS LATER, AWARDED SOCIAL SECURITY DISABILITY BENEFITS

A decision in favor of the claimant was based entirely on psychiatric illness, which resulted from the death of the claimant's child. What made the case unusual was that the child had passed away several years prior, so the claimant had to show the condition was ongoing and severe enough to prevent any kind of work, over a period of time. This was accomplished by getting the claimant's psychiatrist and counselor to answer written questions about the severity of the psychiatric condition and getting that evidence introduced at trial. The case was handled by attorney Leslie Riviere, Esq.

DESPITE NO WORK HISTORY, SUPPLEMENTAL SOCIAL SECURITY BENEFITS AWARDED TO MENTALLY DEPRESSED CLAIMANT

An decision from Judge Ayer was based on the psychiatric illness of the claimant alone. What made the case unusual was the claimant had not worked in over 15 years an had essentially had a nervous breakdown when her husband filed for divorce. There was only one major hospitalization and then psychiatric care which followed. The claimant herself was not aware of how her emotional state made her difficult to employ, so a family member was brought in to testify on the claimant's behalf. After learning just how dependent the claimant was on family for support, a fully favorable decision was issued. The case was handled by attorney Leslie Riviere, Esq.

VETERAN AWARDED SOCIAL SECURITY DISABILITY WHEN DRUG AND ALCOHOL ABUSE WERE PROVEN TO BE IMMATERIAL

An decision involved a veteran who had primarily back problems, but those problems standing alone were not disabling. The claimant also had a number of negative aspects to his file including young age, a sporadic work history, drug abuse, legal issues and alcohol abuse. The claimant followed the instructions of his lawyer, Leslie Riviere, and remained in steady treatment at the VA, seeking counseling and psychiatric care for his unstable mood. Ultimately the judge found the alcohol and drug abuse were not material to the claim, and ruled in favor of the veteran, finding the number of physical problems the veteran had were disabling.

SCHIZOPHRENIC CLAIMANT AWARDED DISABILITY BENEFITS BASED ON DELUSIONAL WRITINGS AND STATEMENTS

A decision from Administrative Law Judge F. H. Ayer, finding a client totally disabled as a result of psychiatric symptoms. In this instance the claimant was only 26 years old and had a lengthy drug, alcohol and prison record. Making matters more difficult, the claimant did not have a treating psychiatrist who was willing to comment about his/her current psychiatric state. Faced with a difficult set of factual circumstances, attorney Riviere detailed the claimant's short work attempts, read from the claimant's own application for benefits and had the claimant testify. It became apparent to the judge that the claimant was in fact schizophrenic, and that his drug, alcohol and difficulties with the law were all by-products of his schizophrenia. The claimant was awarded benefits, with a representative payee responsible for disbursement of the funds.

CLAIMANT WITH DATE L AST INSURED ISSUE AWARDED BENEFITS AFTER ATTORNEY PIECES TOGETHER 10 YEARS OF OLD RECORDS

A decision from Administrative Law Judge Steven Slahta found a client totally disabled based on psychiatric symptoms. The decision was interesting because the client's date last insured was June 30, 2006. The attorney had to prove the client's disability began 6 years ago in order to entitle her to benefits. This was done by gathering older medical records through her health insurance carrier, her long term disability carrier, and credit card waivers signed by doctors as far back as 2002.

STEADY WORK HISTORY PROVES DECIDING FACOR IN CLAIM FOR DISABILITY BENEFITS

Judge Tanya Garrian, via video conference, awarded the claimant benefits, reversing the denials at the administrative level. The claimant had an advanced case of type II diabetes, compete with peripheral neuropathy, unsteady A1C results and morbid obesity. In cases where pain is often the deciding factor, the judge must determine whether the claimant's complaints of pain are credible in light of the medical history. Careful scrutiny was given to all of the records provided by the claimant, but in the end Judge Garrian was persuaded by the claimant's near perfect work history over 30 years. The claimant had been sick much of the time, but had been steadfast in her attendance at work, never missing much time until her doctor's told her to stop working. When a claimant earns significantly more at work, than they could on disability, the benefit of the doubt goes to the claimant.

PREMATURE BABY WITH DEVELOPMENTAL DELAYS AWARDED SUPPLEMENTAL SECURITY INCOME BENEFITS

Judge Tanya Garrian awarded SSI benefits to a three year old that exhibited continued developmental delays. It is no secret that premature babies are often born underweight and with developmental delays. Sometimes, children outgrow their developmental problems and sometimes they do not. When assessing disability before a child is able to speak, testing is key. There are many tests which can be performed on children this young, which do not require verbal answers. Pediatric neurologists and "Early Steps" programs will often perform these tests. In this case, the tests revealed the child had such severe speech and learning delays, he was determined to be markedly impaired in multiple domains. If a child is markedly impaired in two or more domains of development, they are considered disabled.

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