The Case of Client X
A former client returned to me inquiring if he’d be eligible for Social Security disability based on a shoulder injury. This limited him to only occasionally being able to lift, carry, push and pull up to 15 pounds. To an attorney unfamiliar with Social Security Rules and Regulations, this may appear to be a difficult case.
However, I immediately recognized that considering the vocational and other factors, he actually had a very good case. Social Security law is enlightened in the sense that it recognizes that older, not highly educated persons who performed heavy work that was unskilled or who had acquired skills that were not transferable would find it difficult to find work even if they could do less strenuous work.
He was over 55 and had worked over 25 years in the aerospace industry operating a metal cutting machine that required heavy lifting. The Judge agreed with me that the medical evidence established that he could not do his prior job due to his shoulder injury. Therefore, he could qualify for benefits when his age, educational background and prior work history were considered.
The Case of Client Y
When he brought me the decision denying him Social Security benefits and explained to me his illnesses and impairments, I realized that to a large degree the lack of medical evidence was the reason he was denied. He suffered from cirrhosis of the liver, chronic gastritis, uncontrolled diabetes, hypertension, disc disease and radiculopathy. However, he had no health insurance and was being marginally treated by volunteer doctors.
I helped him get Medicaid and referred him to the appropriate doctors for care. The Pain and Rehabilitation Specialist had MRIs and nerve conduction studies confirmed severe impairment. His treating internist also veified how the cirrhosis and diabetes disabled him. The fact that he was 51 years old and had worked only as a golf course maintenance worker were also factors in his favor. His monthly payments provided him his only economic benefit and enabled him to help his family who had supported him for years.
This case was particularly gratifying, not only for the economic benefit I obtained for him but through me his quality of life improved as well as his longevity due to finally receiving the appropriate medical care for his hypertension, cirrhosis and diabetes.