An incorrect onset date can result in a loss of Social Security Disability (“SSD”) benefits. A 47 year old former correction officer retained me after her application for SSD benefits was denied. Her application said that she became disabled on May 29, 2010 (the “AOD”), and she told me that she was advised to pick that date based on a conversation with a Social Security representative.
After interviewing the claimant, I learned that her work attempts had ended well before May 29, 2010. I filed an on-the-record (“OTR”) request for a favorable decision that contended the claimant’s back, knee, arthritis, and hip problems prevented her being able to work. I obtained reports from the claimant’s orthopedist and rheumatologist explaining why the claimant’s medical conditions prevented her from being able to engage in full time work on a sustained basis. Additionally, I asked that the claimant’s AOD be amended to reflect a September 2009 onset date.
The OTR was approved today as of the amended September 2009 AOD. The effect of the amendment is that the claimant will be entitled to receive eight additional months of SSD benefits. The reason the Social Security representative selected May 29, 2010 as the AOD remains unclear. This illustrates one of the many reasons why it frequently makes sense to have an attorney handle an SSD application.