Diabetes, Neuropathy Lead to SSD Benefits

JoAnne Hughes was only 31 at the time of her hearing in front of the Social Security Administration’s Administrative Law Judge. She had worked several different jobs for seven years, including customer service representative, cashier, and waitress, until diabetes mellitus type 1 and resultant neuropathy left her unable to work. She applied for Social Security Disability and Supplemental Security Income benefits but was denied at application and again at reconsideration.  She turned to Attorney Neil H. Good to represent her.

In his pre-hearing memo, Attorney Good outlined the extent of her disorder and medical conditions. Hughes had diabetes mellitus with elevated blood sugars, which was difficult to control. An electromyogram (EMG) showed lower-extremity neuropathy in her legs and feet. She had pain that shot down her legs and into her feet, plus the feeling of pins and needles in her feet. She could hardly walk, was losing muscle control in her legs, and had leg cramps.  She couldn’t sit or stand, and had chronic and severe pain and sleep loss. Her impairment was complicated by morbid obesity.

Hughes also suffered from migraines and irritable bowel syndrome. She also had been diagnosed with bipolar disorder, depression, personality disorder, and anxiety.

In his decision, the Administrative Law Judge noted Hughes’s neuropathy symptoms and the findings of the EMG, detailed by Attorney Good. The judge ruled, “The Claimant has been found to be disabled by her physicians, backed with medical testing.” He made a fully favorable decision.