The Social Security Administration is converting to electronic files. Exhibits are sent to disability lawyers like Doug Landau ahead of an Administrative Law Judge Hearing. However, when medical records, exhibits or other evidence is not submitted in in a timely manner, these documents cannot be scanned into the system for review by the judge, SSA staff or the expert witnesses.
This happened in today’s case, where important medical evidence had not been received by the ALJ’s office prior to their making the CD of the exhibits for the file. It was nerve-wracking, but the disabled claimant, counsel and witnesses had to wait while these items were manually entered into the system and reviewed. The good news is that once the computer system had the current information gathered by ABRAMS LANDAU, the case was won and the Judge announced that a “Fully Favorable” decision would be rendered. The Federal judge based his decision on the claimant’s residual physical abilities. Just like athletes are tested to see their physiological abilities, disabled claimants are also screened for their abilities to engage in work like activities. If a disabled claimant ifs found to possess the ability to engage in “substantial gainful activity,” then the judge will rule against the person seeking their Social Security benefits.
In this case, the treating doctor opined that Mr. Landau’s young client could walk only one city block and then would have to rest for 1 hour. She could sit for only 15 minutes at a time and stand for only 10 minutes at a time. In an 8-hour day, she could sit and stand/walk for less than 2 hours. As for walking, a treating physician states that his patient would need to walk multiple times as needed for approximately 2 minutes each time. In the opinion of this “treating source,” the claimant would also require unscheduled breaks on an hourly basis, during which time she would require lying down and resting for an hour before returning to work. This ABRAMS LANDAU client’s doctor also opines that his patient would need to elevate her legs 50% of the time in an 8-hr. day. Lastly, the evidence from the doctor indicated that his patient needs to use a cane or other assistive device to ambulate. Upon this record, the Federal Judge found in favor of the claimant. Because of her young age, she will be subject to review of her medical conditions in about 18 months, which is not unusual for these kinds of cases.