Clearing the Hurdles in Your Pennsylvania Social Security Disability Case
If you are disabled, that disability may permit you to recover disability benefits. In order to do that, you’ll have to file a claim and clear several hurdles along the way. You’ll have to prove that you are, as defined by the law, actually disabled and unable to work. In your case, you will want to make sure that your testimony and your proof are as persuasive as possible. To make sure that your case goes as smoothly as possible, consult an experienced Pennsylvania Social Security attorney.
Andrew was a man whose disability case is an example of how you may be entitled to a renewed chance to obtain benefits, even if you’ve received an unfavorable ruling from an administrative law judge at first. Andrew allegedly had a multitude of medical ailments, including microscopic colitis, bipolar disorder, schizoaffective disorder, panic disorder with agoraphobia, social phobia, and autism.
Andrew brought a Social Security Disability claim based upon his disorders, the symptoms of which he claimed prevented him from working. The administrative law judge who heard Andrew’s case concluded that he suffered from the claimed disorders and that those disorders could cause the symptoms that he listed. The judge, however, also concluded that Andrew was not credible when he asserted that the symptoms were so severe that they totally prevented Andrew from working.
The man appealed that decision to the federal District Court, and he was able to revive his case. When you pursue a disability case, you are entitled to certain things from the judge in the opinion in your case. Andrew made certain assertions about his symptoms and their severity. The judge stated that Andrew was not believable when it came to his testimony about symptom severity. The judge did not, however, explain why Andrew was not credible. As the District Court put it, the judge failed “to provide an adequate explanation of how he reached his conclusions regarding the credibility” of Andrew with regard to his “allegations of physical impairments.”
One of the key things was that Andrew had considerable evidence of his gastrointestinal problems that the judge apparently cast aside as unpersuasive. Andrew had proof that his colitis had been getting worse since 2012. His symptoms included frequent diarrhea and bleeding, for which he had sought treatment on multiple occasions. The administrative law judge, however, cast the evidence aside as “infrequent” treatment. The District Court, on the other hand, concluded that the evidence clearly showed that Andrew “received a considerable amount of treatment, including quite a few medical tests, for his gastrointestinal issues.”
Administrative law judges are given a great deal of leeway by the law to make decisions regarding credibility. An administrative law judge is entitled to conclude that a claimant is not believable and his medical evidence is not persuasive. The judge, however, must explain those determinations with some degree of clarity and specificity. The judge in Andrew’s case did not do that, so he was entitled to an order reviving his case.
Andrew’s case is a clear example that filing a disability case can be an intensive process with many hurdles to clear. In order to give yourself a strong chance of winning your disability case, contact the skilled Pennsylvania Social Security Disability attorneys at Needle Law Firm. Our team offers our clients the thoughtful and determined representation, along with the personalized attention, they need.
Contact us today for a free, no-obligation consultation by calling (570) 344-1266.