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Am I Disabled If I Have to Go to the Doctor Constantly?

Posted on in Social Security Disability

b2ap3_thumbnail_go-to-the-doctor-constantly-Chicago.jpgThere is an old saying that “the cure is worse is than the disease.” For individuals suffering from a variety of medical ailments, that often feels true. In fact, there are many cases where a person who requires frequent, persistent medical care is simply unable to hold a full-time job. In such circumstances a person may be eligible for Social Security Disability Insurance benefits.

Judge Orders Social Security to Reconsider Illinois Man's Case

Of course, Social Security is often unsympathetic to the plights of disability applicants, even those with a long documented history of medical care. Consider a recent Illinois case. The applicant is a 54-year-old man who previously worked as an auto glass installation specialist. Among other ailments, the applicant suffers from frequent migraines and hypogammaglobulinemia.

Hypogammaglobulinemia, also known as common variable immunodeficiency (CVID), is a disorder of the immune system. A person with CVID is prone to frequent infections due to low antibody levels in the blood. There is no cure for CVID, and the only known treatment is immunoglobulin replacement therapy, essentially an infusion of antibodies into the bloodstream.

In the applicant's case, he must receive an infusion every two weeks. The process last eight hours and cannot be performed on a weekend. Additionally, the applicant must regularly see doctors for other conditions, including the fact he has “seven or eight migraines a month,” that produce a number of side effects, including vomiting and the need to sleep after taking medication.

Despite these ailments, a Social Security administrative law judge (ALJ) determined the applicant was not legally disabled. On appeal, a federal judge said the ALJ's decision was insufficient as it “lacks any meaningful discussion” of how the applicant's medical condition actually impairs his ability to work. The judge noted that even if the applicant could find a job, he would have to miss two days per month for his CVID infusion treatments, two more days due to the side effects of his migraines, and additional time due to his frequent (and necessary) medical appointments to treat his other conditions.

The judge noted that the “number of medical appointments a claimant attends” is not, in and of itself, evidence of disability. Otherwise anyone could “manufacture their own disabilities” by going to the doctor constantly. But here, the judge said there was substantial evidence the applicant's frequent appointments were medically necessary. Additionally, Social Security has a legal responsibility to examine this evidence properly, which it did not do here. Accordingly, the judge ordered Social Security to reconsider the applicant's claim for disability benefits.

Do You Need Help From a Social Security Disability Attorney?

Most people do not enjoy going to the doctor. They certainly do not want to go to the doctor two or three times per week. But for some people this is a fact of life—one that may afford them a legitimate disability claim. If you are in this situation, you should speak with a compassionate Chicago disability benefits lawyer about your options. Contact Pearson Disability Law, LLC, if you would like to schedule a consultation today.




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