Disability Case Involves Multiple Injuries

Shapoor Hotak was the married father of six children, four of them under the age of 18, when he was going through the Social Security Disability process. He had worked for 25 years in the import business and the insurance and mortgage industries. Now, at 52, after sustaining several injuries over the years as well as suffering the effects of diabetes mellitus, physical impairment and pain were making it impossible for him to continue working. He filed for Social Security Disability but was denied, both at application and at reconsideration.

Attorney Neil H. Good represented Hotak at the hearing before the Social Security Administration’s Administrative Law Judge. Hotak was over the age of 50, the age at which Social Security begins to lower the requirements for proving disability. Since Hotak had two years of college education and skilled work experience, Attorney Good had to present medical evidence that Hotak was unable to perform past skilled work.

Hotak had hurt his back lifting at work and had hurt his neck in an auto accident. He had also fractured his right arm in a horseback-riding accident. MRIs showed degenerative spondylosis and bilateral neural foraminal stenosis of his cervical and lumbar spine. He suffered from lumbar and cervical radiculopathy, with pain radiating to his legs. He couldn’t walk distances, or sit or stand for periods of time. Hotak had sought help with cortisone shots but received no relief or recovery. An MRI of his left shoulder showed degenerative changes at the acromioclavicular joint and a risk of impingement. He had pain in his neck, left shoulder, arm, and hand. After the horseback-riding accident, Hotak underwent surgical repair of his elbow but continued to have decreased range of motion in his right – and dominant – arm. Further, diabetes mellitus had caused neuropathy of his hands and feet. Attorney Good argued that with his several impairments, Shapoor Hotak could no longer perform ”any kind of work-related activity on a sustained, full-time or part-time basis.”

The Administrative Law Judge made a fully favorable decision in the case. Hotok is now receiving Social Security Disability benefits.