Anna Johnson was a 54-year-old female who had several administrative jobs. She has disorders of the spine, with lumbar stenosis and degenerative disk disease. Anna had three failed back surgeries in one year. Additionally, she went through other more conservative methods of treatment. In spite of her surgeries, she has not recovered the ability to ambulate effectively. In addition to making employment not viable, the disabilities impede her performance of basic life functions. In tandem with her limited physical capacity, she suffered from depression with mood swings.
In December 2012, Ms. Johnson had an MRI of her lumbar spine. It showed L3-4 degenerative disk space narrowing and some low T2 signal disk desiccation. Ms. Johnson retained Attorney Neil H. Good to represent her in her effort to obtain Social Security Disability benefits.
While she was applying for Social Security benefits, Anna had a failed work attempt. With the assumption that Ms. Johnson’s work attempt was proof that her symptoms were in remission, the Social Security Administration denied her claim for benefits at application and reconsideration. Ms. Johnson filed for a Social Security Administrative hearing.
Attorney Good outlined to the Administrative Law Judge that even after three surgeries, multiple injections and other procedures she still could not ambulate effectively. The surgeries did not improve her conditions. She is unable to stand for periods of time and is unable to sit or stand for more than 10-15 minutes. Anna’s disability required her to lie down most of the day. She continues to have back pain, radiating a stabbing pain with numbness or throbbing in her lower extremities. Her pain radiates through her left anterior hip and she has pain along her thigh and calf. Ms. Johnson also has a history of falls.
Attorney Neil Good opined that Ms. Johnson’s work attempt was not proof that her disability had improved, but rather her work attempt was due to economic necessity. Although the employer made attempts to accommodate Ms. Johnson’s impairments, she was unable to accomplish her work tasks. In addition to the impedance to her work ability, Ms. Johnson has difficulty with personal care.
At the Administrative Law Hearing, the Administrative Law Judge awarded Anna Johnson Social Security benefits. The Judge ruled that Ms. Johnson was unable to perform her past relevant work as an office manager or a receptionist. Both her physical and mental limitations made full time employment unfeasible. He ruled that given Ms. Johnson’s age, education, work experience, and residual functional capacity there are no jobs that exist in significant numbers in the national economy that she can perform.
The Social Security Administration awarded Anna Johnson Social Security benefits. They ruled that Ms. Johnson was not able to perform her past relevant work. Both her physical and mental limitations made full time employment unfeasible.
If you are suffering from similar medical conditions or have a disability/impairment that has rendered you unable to work, contact Neil H. Good to schedule your free case evaluation to discuss your specific health condition and your SSD eligibility.