Case Decided Favorably… BEFORE the Hearing

Sometimes, a case is clear enough that disability benefits are granted before the case is even heard.

That was the situation for “Martin,” age 51, who had suffered a stroke several years earlier. He’d applied once for benefits and been denied, then filed for reconsideration and was again denied. Attorney Neil H. Good filed a request for hearing but before the hearing took place, an attorney advisor issued a fully favorable decision for Martin. The “evidence of record supports a fully favorable decision, so no hearing is needed,” the advisor said.

The facts and evidence were outlined in a comprehensive pre-hearing memo submitted by Attorney Good prior to the hearing date. The advisor used this information to arrive at his decision granting Martin benefits.

Martin has a college degree. For nine years he was a driver for a food services company, then was a maintenance worker for nine years, the last six months of which he was off work because of a stroke. He worked part-time for about a month and a half, due to his disabilities, then tried — but failed — to work full-time. He eventually was terminated. Other attempts to work after that period were unsuccessful.

Though Martin has severe impairments, they do not meet or equal a listed impairment, the advisor said. But Martin also has a sedentary unskilled RFC, cannot perform any past relevant work and his acquired skills are not transferable to other work. Martin is closely approaching advanced age with a college education and questionable ability to communicate in English, the advisor noted. Given his RFC and specific vocational profiles “there are no jobs that exist in significant numbers in the national economy that he can perform,” the advisor said.

Martin had suffered a stroke in 2008. The results of this stroke continued to worsen despite treatment. He suffered deep vein thrombosis which did not improve, and a few years later, had difficulty in moving about. His hearing also was limited. A neurologist limited him to sitting 10 minutes at a time, or standing one hour at a time, and no more than two hours combined in a day. Beyond the vocational RFC, Martin’s mental RFC showed him unable to perform more than simple, unskilled work activity.

Environmental limitations include avoiding extreme heat or cold, elevated humidity, fumes and other airborne pollutants, chemicals, solvents and even perfume.

He continues to have motor, cognitive, and ambulatory disabilities, disability attorney Neil Good said in his pre-hearing memo. He has hearing loss, tinnitus, word recognition difficulties, recurrent headaches and dizziness, and is also photosensitive. He has knee bursitus with pain and swelling, and also suffers from hypertension and high cholesterol. Medications include Abilify, aspirin, Gabpentin, Livalo, Iosinopril, Prozac, Trazadone, Warfarin, Lisinopril, Zetia, Zoloft, and Deplin.

Attorney Good said Martin, among a host of issues, also has an arterioseptal aneurysm, an abnormal, enlarged mobile atrial septum, deep vein thrombosis, hearing loss and organic mental disorder, and personality disorders.