Impairments Markedly Restrict Daily Living

“Jordan Doe,” age 45, is now receiving Supplemental Security Income benefits. The decision awarding him SSI benefits came after a hearing before the Office of Disability Adjudication and Review (ODAR), at which Mr. Doe was represented by Attorney Neil H. Good.

The judge ruled that Jordan suffers from several severe impairments: coronary artery disease, fibromyalgia, carpal tunnel syndrome, somatoform disorder, personality disorder, depression, syndrome and/or polymyalgia rheumatica, and chronic fatigue among them. The impairments “cause more than minimal functional limitations,” the judge said in his ruling.

Jordan Doe, who has a high school education, worked in Internet sales. Before that, he was in automotive sales as a buyer for approximately 20 years, though he was at home in the middle of that period for approximately three years.

In his pre-hearing memo, Attorney Good also outlined other medical issues and conditions, including peripheral neuropathy and sensory polyneuropathy, plus sleep apnea, hypertension, and hyperlipidemia, with complications of other body systems, as well as cardiovascular issues and headaches. His medications include Toprol, Plavix, Protonix, Benicar, Lipitor, Niacin, Nitro, Xanax, and Wellbutrin, among others.

He suffers post stent recurrent chest pain syndrome with chest pain, fatigue, weakness, dizziness, limitation of activities and lightheadedness. Episodes requiring hospitalization occur about every two months.

In this case, both physical and mental assessments made by the state agency consultants were given little weight “because evidence received at the hearing level shows that the claimant is more limited than determined by the State agency consultants. Furthermore, the State agency consultants did not adequately consider the claimant’s subjective complaints.” Such a decision helps point out the importance of having an advocate working on a claimant’s behalf, pulling together medical evidence, and presenting information that supports a claimant’s case for benefits.

The judge found that Jordan Doe’s impairments do indeed meet the criteria of the law; he has a history of multiple physical symptoms that have caused him to take medication frequently, see a physician often, and alter his life patterns significantly. Other criteria are satisfied because Jordan Doe’s impairments cause, among other issues, marked restriction in daily living, moderate difficulties in maintaining social functioning and marked difficulties in maintaining concentration, persistence, or pace.