Favorable Decision Comes Just One Day After Hearing

A 28-year-old client from the western Chicago suburbs has received a fully favorable decision, after a hearing in front of the Evanston Office of Disability Adjudication and Review (ODAR) and is now receiving Social Security Disability benefits.

She has a 10th-grade education and was employed as a factory worker, as well as cashier and stocker.

The judge made his ruling just one day after the hearing. The judge said the client suffered from “personality disorder so severe that your impairment(s) meets the requirements of one of the impairments listed in the listing of impairments.”

As the Social Security Administration notes on its website, “The Listing of Impairments describes, for each major body system, impairments considered severe enough to prevent an individual from doing any gainful activity … Most of the listed impairments are permanent or expected to result in death, or the listing includes a specific statement of duration is made.”

If a judge finds someone matches the requirements of the impairment, the person automatically qualifies for disability benefits.

Within the listings of impairments (known as listings) , the SSA also lists the requirements, in terms of such elements as symptoms and effects, that must be met, to be certain the person’s condition warrants automatic approval for benefits. In the case of this client, and the personality disorders, there were a number of requirements, in two separate categories, that had to be met. Meeting the listing can be quite complicated.

While the ODAR judge awarded disability benefits on the basis of the listing, Attorney Neil Good outlined more of the client’s issues in a detailed pre-hearing memo. Besides mental health issues she also suffered from migraines and disorders of the spine. Her conditions include depression, manic disorder, mood disorder, and bipolar disorder, manifesting themselves in sleep loss, anxiety, panic attacks, agitation, and other inappropriate behaviors. Medications include Advil, Prozac, Xanax, and Risperdol. Attorney Good showed how the client’s symptoms and conditions met and equaled the listings, as required by the Social Security Administration.

The client had earlier been turned down for benefits and contacted Attorney Good following those denials. The ODAR hearing was part of the appeals process and the hearing involved obtaining and presenting additional evidence from her medical providers.