Thursday, May 19, 2011


Endometriosis is a condition in which bits of tissue from the lining of the uterus grow outside the uterus. It causes swelling and inflammation, cramps, fatigue, chronic pelvic or back pain, and the formation of scar tissue.

A 41 year old former police officer with endometriosis, who applied for Social Security Disability ("SSD")in 2009, asked me to represent her after her claim was scheduled for a hearing. Since an SSD application based on endometriosis is relatively unusual, I secured a narrative report from the claimant's gynecologist that established a 20 year treatment relationship that included a dozen surgeries for the endometriosis. Additionally, the gynecologist stated that the claimant's condition was debilitating.

The endometriosis diagnosis was indisputable. The only issue was whether the condition was severe enough to prevent the claimant from working. By establishing that he had a 20 year treatment relationship with the claimant that included 12 surgeries, the gynecologist's opinion that the claimant could not work due to debilitating pain was given controlling weight. It is possible that had the claimant understood the need for submitting the type of report that I obtained from her gynecologist, she may have been able to avoid the hearing, which took place nearly a year and a half after she filed her SSD application.

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