Casey Underwood was only 45 when he underwent a carotid endarterectomy. The surgery had after-effects that ultimately led him to being ruled disabled and eligible for Social Security Disability benefits.
The road to those benefits was bumpy, however, and included being turned down initially. Underwood and his attorney advocate Neil H. Good appealed that unfavorable decision. A mere five days after a hearing before the Office of Disability Adjudication and Review (ODAR), which included testimony from a medical expert, the Administrative Law Judge ruled in Casey’s favor.
Casey began to suffer nerve complications from the surgery almost immediately. Casey continued to have episodic spells of becoming pale and nauseous, with numbness or tingling in his left neck, arm, and hand. He developed vision problems in his right eye with floating stars and episodic loss of vision. He developed left vocal cord paralysis that required multiple surgeries and impacted his speech somewhat at the hearing, although he could be understood. The judge found that Casey continued to have tingling in the left shoulder and arm, and that the spells and numbness in his fingers and hand rendered him unable to drive. At the time of the hearing he was suffering as many as three episodes a week, lasting up to four hours, and his legs also trembled.
Casey had worked as a maintenance worker, described as medium to heavy work.
The medical expert testified Casey could not perform a full range of sedentary work, nor perform more than sedentary work. “His acquired job skills do not transfer to other occupations within his residual functional capacity (RFC),” the judge ruled. “Considering his age, education, work experience and RFC, there are no jobs that exist in significant numbers in the national economy that Carey can perform.”
He was therefore found eligible for disability benefits.