Friday, March 5, 2010

Multiple Impairments

You may be entitled to Social Security Disability (“SSD”) benefits even if you don’t have an impairment that by itself could result in a finding of disability by the Social Security Administration (the “SSA”). That’s because the SSA regulations provide that the combined effect that all your impairments have on your ability to work could suffice.

I represent a former aviation assembler who stopped working due to a multitude of physical problems, including arthritis, hepatitis, hyperthyroidism, vitamin D deficiency, and hand injuries. Two treating physicians provided reports explaining why the claimant could not perform sedentary work. Nonetheless, the SSA would not find the claimant disabled, and insisted that he see their doctor, who was less supportive than the treating doctors.

Subsequently, I secured a report from the claimant’s psychiatrist, who diagnosed the claimant with bipolar and anxiety disorders. The report indicated the claimant’s condition varied significantly over the past year. However, after the psychiatrist’s report was submitted, the SSA approved the application today without requiring a hearing.

Since the treating records were deemed insufficient to find the claimant disabled, and the SSA’s doctor’s disability opinion was unsupportive too, it shows that the additional restrictions posed by the claimant’s mental limitations combined with his physical limitations sufficed to find him disabled.

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