After Hearing, Benefits Approved

Stephanie Van Cleve had worked as a real estate agent and office manager for a real estate firm for 15 years before being injured on the job and subsequently disabled.

She was hit in the face by a board. The end result, attorney Neil H. Good said in his pre-hearing memo, included jaw pain, clicking and popping; abnormal job movement, a severe reduction in the ability to open her mouth; inability to chew and difficulty eating.

At the time of the hearing, Stephanie suffered constant pain and had to wear a mouth splint all day. She had difficulty speaking, fatigue, headaches, dizziness, decreased mobility in her neck, difficulty turning or tilting her head, and discomfort sitting or standing due to compromised posture. She suffered sleep loss, difficulty dressing, difficulty brushing and washing her hair, plus visual disturbances with floaters in her eyes and ringing in her ears. She had lost about 35 pounds in four months, plus suffered depression, with lethargy, memory loss, and concentration loss.

Stephanie had 20 doctors and numerous medications, including Thera tear, Tramadol, Arthrotec, Lexapro, Mobic, Prevacid, Lyrica, Tylenol with codeine, Advil, Motrin, and Aleve.

Because of her age, 59 at the time of the hearing, attorney Good had to show Stephanie could no longer perform her past relevant work, not any job in the economy.

Her application for benefits, first dated approximately two years after the work incident, was turned down. Her request for reconsideration was turned down. It was only after the hearing, with the case’s facts assembled by attorney Good, that Stephanie was approved for disability benefits.