33 N. Dearborn Street, Suite 650, Chicago, IL 60602

6 Convenient Locations

Facebook Twitter LinkedIn Youtube Google
Search

No attorney fee unless we win!

call us312-999-0999

Recent blog posts

Cook County disability benefits attorneySocial Security disability programs are designed to assist individuals who are unable to work due to a physical or mental impairment. Disability decisions are not supposed to be a judgment on the applicant's character or past conduct. However, Social Security officials often discount disability claims raised by individuals with criminal records or who are not considered “sympathetic” or “likable” enough.

Magistrate: Social Security Failed to Properly Assess Ex-Con's Mental Disorders

Such considerations, however, have no relevance under Social Security regulations. When an agency administrative law judge (ALJ) takes procedural shortcuts with an applicant they dislike, a federal court may intervene and decide that the applicant is entitled to a new hearing.

This is precisely what happened in one recent Illinois Social Security disability case. The plaintiff applied for Supplemental Security Income benefits in 2014. (SSI follows similar rules to Social Security Disability Insurance when it comes to assessing an applicant's physical and mental impairments.) For the eight years prior to the plaintiff's application, he was serving a prison sentence.

...

Cook County disability benefits lawyer, disability benefits, disability claim, chronic pain, medical evidenceSocial Security administrative law judges (ALJs) frequently go to extraordinary lengths to discredit and discount the impact chronic pain has on a person's ability to work—or even simply live a normal life. Although a litany of regulations and federal court decisions reject such a draconian approach to disability cases, we continue to see applicants with legitimate claims are turned away by the arbitrary and capricious decisions of ALJs.

Illinois Magistrate Identifies Multiple Errors in Disability Decision

Consider one recent example. In this case, a female applicant suffering from a variety of impairments—hypertension, diabetes, and asthma—filed for disability benefits in 2013. In 2016, Social Security denied her application, in large part because the ALJ overseeing the case rejected the applicant's testimony regarding the effects of her chronic pain and other symptoms. The woman then sought review of Social Security's denial with an Illinois federal magistrate judge.

In August of this year, the magistrate held that the woman was entitled to a new hearing because the ALJ's decision reached conclusions that were “legally insufficient and not supported by substantial evidence.” Problems identified by the magistrate included the following:

...

medical evidence, Social Security disability decisions, Chicago Social Security disability lawyer, disability benefits, disability claimsSocial Security disability decisions are supposed to be based on medical evidence. However, far too often, Social Security officials ignore this evidence in favor of their own preconceived biases towards a disability applicant, especially those suffering from chronic pain. Even worse, officials may try to manipulate the testimony of medical experts to justify their erroneous conclusions.

Court Says Social Security Cannot “Delegate” Credibility Findings to Consulting Doctors

The U.S. Seventh Circuit Court of Appeals in Chicago recently expressed its exasperation with the Social Security Administration over such practices. The context was a decision to deny disability benefits to a man suffering from congenital spinal stenosis and other serious medical impairments. At a hearing before a Social Security administrative law judge (ALJ), the applicant presented substantial medical evidence documenting his condition. In brief, the applicant suffers from chronic pain as the result of a degenerative back problem, which has not improved despite undergoing surgery.

...

You are not alone. Call us now for a FREE consultation 312-999-0999

Unable to travel to one of our offices? No problem! No office visit required.

dupage county bar association Chicago abr association nosscr Super Lawyer
Back to Top