Tuesday, April 16, 2013

Work History & Credibility

Many of my blog entries discuss the importance of non-medical evidence when applying for disability benefits. One example of non-medical evidence that can help secure disability benefits is a positive work history. I represent a 37 year old IT Specialist whose Social Security Disability (“SSD”) application was approved today after accepting the argument that I made concerning the claimant’s work history in an on-the-record (“OTR”) request for a fully favorable decision. 

The State agency denied SSD benefits based on the assumption that anyone under 50 years of age should be able to do sedentary work. However, that assumption failed to consider that the claimant was earning close to $100,000 a year. I posited that the only issue was whether the claimant, who had been earning about $100,000 annually, conspired with his doctors to feign that he lacked the ability to do sedentary work in order to receive SSD benefits that would be about a quarter of his working income. When focusing on that non-medical evidence the answer seems obvious. 

The Attorney Advisor who approved the OTR agreed. In fact, citing the case Rivera v. Schweiker, 717 F.2d 719, 725 (2d Cir. 1983), for the principle that a good work history supports a claimant’s disability application, the Attorney Advisor explained that, “the claimant’s good work history lends to the credibility of his allegations of disability.” Since no new medical evidence was submitted after the State agency denied the SSD application, it appears that the Attorney Advisor’s decision turned on the work history argument.

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