Benefits for a Young Woman with a Cerebral Aneurysm

Anna Marciano, single and with one child, was only 28. She had worked several jobs, including as a waitress, receptionist, and cashier. One day she was found on the floor, unconscious and foaming at the mouth, in a grand mal seizure. At the hospital, she was diagnosed with a cerebral aneurysm and a coil embolization of the aneurysm was performed. The following day, a CT scan of her brain showed subarachnoid hemorrhaging, requiring a second surgery. Two months later, Marciano again experienced headaches, pressure in her head, dizziness, and nausea.  A cerebral angiogram revealed the growth of the aneurysm. A third surgery, a right frontotemporoparietal craniotomy, was performed.

The lasting effects of Marciano’s illness and three surgeries left her unable to return to work. She filed for Social Security Disability and Supplemental Security Income benefits. After being denied at application and again at reconsideration, she asked Attorney Neil H. Good to represent her at the Social Security Administration hearing, in front of an Administrative Law Judge. In his pre-hearing memo, Attorney Good set forth Marciano’s impairments.  She continued to experience headaches, vomiting, and fatigue. She had memory and concentration loss. Dizziness left her unable to bend over. She had lost the peripheral vision in her right eye and had double vision. She also experienced depression, mood fluctuations, and a fear of dying in her sleep.

The Administrative Law Judge found that although Marciano could perform sedentary work, she “can never climb ladders … she can only occasionally climb ramps and stairs, balance stoop, crouch, kneel and crawl … and she must be allowed to be off task for more than 20 percent of a normal workday due to fears and intrusive thoughts of medical problems.”

The judge found Marciano disabled and granted her benefits.