Favorable Decision after Single Impairment

Seizure Disorder

While it is true that frequently a combination of impairments leads to a ruling of impairment by an administrative law judge, sometimes claimants win benefits while suffering just one impairment.

That is the case with “Ramona Doe” a woman who was 41 at the time of her disability hearing. Ramona, who has completed some college courses and holds a real estate license, had worked in a number of fields in the eight years prior to her hearing, including in design, as an account manager, and even as a baker.

In his pre-hearing memo, attorney Neil H. Good said Ramona suffers from epilepsy, with cluster seizures. At the time, she was experiencing seizures one to two times a month, on average, and these seizures had led to automobile accidents. She also has depression, loss of memory and concentration, organic mental disorder with cognitive impairment, and exhibits obsessive-compulsive behaviors. She takes a number of medications, including Lamictol, Trileptal, and Phenotek.

The judge found, simply, that the claimant “has the following severe impairment(s): a seizure disorder” and that the disorder meets the criteria to be found disabled, and had been since nearly four years before the hearing.

While it is true the judge ruled Ramona suffers from epilepsy, Attorney Good’s pre-hearing memo outlined a number of medical issues and impairments that are part of the SSA’s listings and argued that her residual functional capacity “precludes the performance of any kind of work-related activity on a sustained, full-time or part-time basis.”

Ramona received a fully favorable ruling for Social Security Disability benefits from the Social Security Administration, and is now — five years after first becoming disabled — receiving monthly benefits.