Thursday, March 21, 2013

Urinary Incontinence

Urinary incontinence can be disabling for many reasons. Lifting and carrying things could trigger the problem, as could changing positions too often or things in the environment that trigger sneezing or coughing. A frequent problem when trying to establish disability is making the adjudicator understand why simply providing easy and regular access to bathroom facilities is insufficient. 

Many occupations cannot be accommodated for instantaneous and at will bathroom access. I represent a 59 year old former teacher with urinary incontinence whose Social Security Disability (“SSD”) application was just approved. However, even though there were a thousand pages of medical records, the claimant had to proceed to a hearing. Fortunately, I had obtained a report from a vocational expert (“VE”) that explained how the claimant’s symptoms precluded her from performing her past or any other occupation on a sustained basis. 

In situations where the claimant’s medical condition is disabling based upon non-exertional factors, such as urinary incontinence, a vocational report is a wise investment. In many such cases, Social Security will pay a VE to testify at the hearing, and more often than not, the VE will find jobs that the claimant can supposedly perform. It is much more difficult for the SSA to deny a case, even if it has a VE testify, when the claimant has already submitted a report from his or her own VE to the contrary.

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