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Court reverses denial of SSD benefits

Previously on this blog, we have discussed how many initial Social Security disability claims are denied. We encourage our readers, and our clients, to not be discouraged, though, as appellate options are available to them. It may start with a reconsideration, if necessary, it might find its way up to federal court. Those who doubt the effect of filing an appeal need only look at one recent court decision that could lead to the recovery of benefits for a disabled individual.

Recently, a federal court of appeals reversed the denial of a man's Social Security benefits, finding that the administrative law judge who heard his claimed erroneously focused on very specific facts and ignored others to support the denial. The man at the center of the claim was injured on the job working as a factory foreman when he fell off a 10-foot tall ladder, injuring his arm. Despite medical attention, the man continues to suffer from pain.

When the man sought SSD benefits, the administrative law judge denied them, saying that the man waited to file the claim until his workers' compensation and unemployment benefits ran out. The administrative law judge also claimed the man didn't have medical care for nearly two years. The Court of Appeals, however, found that the administrative law judge was cherry-picking the record, pointing out that the man was uninsured at the time and had been deemed either disabled or significantly limited in his abilities by several medical professionals. The Court also found that the timing of the claim made sense, since the man probably didn't think that you could recoup multiple benefits at once.

This case illustrates how important the appeal process is with regard to Social Security disability claims. Those who suffer from a disability and are concerned about a claim denial should make sure they understand their legal options. By filing a timely appeal, people may be able to get much needed benefits.

Source: Indiana Lawyer, "7th Circuit remands disability benefits denial," Jennifer Nelson, July 28, 2016

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