Monday, April 7, 2008

Past Earnings

Sometimes the best argument when seeking disability benefits involves simple common sense. I represent an advertising executive with severe liver disease and leukemia. Not only did the treating doctors insist that the conditions were functionally disabling, but they were also potentially terminal. Nonetheless, the disability examiner refused to render a decision based on the medical information that had been supplied.

Because the disability analyst was indifferent to the medical evidence, I submitted a letter highlighting the vocational issues. The claimant had a long work history where he earned well over $150,000 annually. As a matter of law, I pointed out that claimant’s with long work histories are presumed to be credible. Thus, the claimant’s subjective complaints had to be accepted as a basis for approving benefits. It should be obvious that anyone who works for a long time either likes working and/or has a strong work ethic. It is also common sense that someone does not stop working in order to collect a disability benefit that is only a fraction of what they were earning previously.

The claimant’s application was approved shortly after submission of the vocational evidence. Since the medical evidence did not change, the logical explanation for the approval was the disability analyst’s consideration of the common sense vocational arguments.

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