Tuesday, August 16, 2011

SSD Approved in 2.5 Months

Social Security is well known for taking a long time to decide if it should approve an application for Social Security Disability (“SSD”) benefits. Therefore, when it makes a rare decision quickly, the question is why?

I represent a former car salesman whose SSD application was approved in 2.5 months, which is significantly faster than normal. A car salesman is considered light work because it requires the individual to be on his feet most of the work day. There is no reported case where a court found a car salesman to have skills that would transfer to sedentary work.

Given the claimant’s age, he would have to be found disabled even if capable of sedentary work. This “Grid” situation is not unusual, and by itself does not explain why SSD benefits were approved in a little over two months. Two other factors may explain the rapid decision.

I submitted reports from the claimant’s internist regarding back problems, and pulmonologist regarding breathing problems, that showed the claimant lacked the ability to do even sedentary work. Establishing comorbid conditions that independently warrant a finding of disabled obviously presents a stronger case. I also explained the significance of the claimant’s 38 year work history as a car salesman, which is objective evidence of a good work ethic and credibility. The synergistic effect of the comorbid evidence and work history simply made it too difficult for the State agency to contest the application.

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