Favorable Decision after Multiple Medical Impairments

Many Facets of Disabillity Case Law

Each disability case is different and frequently involve not only more than one impairment but also more than one facet of disability case law.

This was particularly true in the case of “Jane Doe,” who was 50, and a widow, at the time of her disability onset. She won a fully favorable decision from the Social Security Administration, after an administrative law judge heard evidence presented by attorney Neil H. Good. “Jane,” age 55 at the time of the hearing, suffers from severe impairments, the judge ruled, including breast cancer with lymphedema, arthritis in the hips and one knee, depression, and obesity, plus has a history of hypertension. She has at least a high school education and had, at the time of her disability, been employed as an executive secretary.

The judge ruled Jane “does not have an impairment or combination of impairments that meets or medically equals one of the listed impairments.” At the same time, she also ruled that Jane has “the residual functional capacity (RFC) for less than sedentary work.” The judge ruled that “in this case, the claimant cannot perform any past relevant work, since even the claimant’s least demanding past relevant job required her to preform work activities inconsistent with the RFC determined above.” The judge noted that Jane’s job skills do not transfer to other occupations with the residual functional capacity, due to non-exertional limitations, and “considering the claimant’s age, education, work experience, and residual functional capacity, there are no jobs that exist in significant number in the national economy that the claimant can perform.”

The case also involved whether Jane met “insured status” requirements; she had to have her disability established on or before a certain date, as well whether she qualified for widow benefits. The judge ruled that “the claimant has been disabled” from a certain time period “through the date of this decision. I also find that disability was established prior to the date last insured for entitlement to a period of disability and disability insurance benefits and during the prescribed period for entitlement to disabled widow’s benefits.”

Jane had originally filed for disability benefits on her own and was turned down. She filed for reconsideration and was turned down a second time. At that point she requested the services of Neil H. Good, who wrote a detailed pre-hearing memo outlining the inter-related and complex facets of the case, and represented Jane during her hearing.