A disability case may still be won even if it does not technically meet the regulations for a particular disease or condition. This is done by proving that symptoms and side effects of the disability significantly reduce productivity. The impairment must be at such a level that no employer would keep them on, or offer a job to them. The person would not be able to work sufficient predictable, consecutive hours, or even days per month, to maintain employment.
Lack of productivity may be caused by fatigue, a need to lie down because of pain, a need for isolation due to a psychiatric disorder, or simply frequent absences.
A claimant with illnesses such diabetes, Hep C, multiple sclerosis, HIV, or a cardiac disorder may be so fatigued that they need to sleep several hours during the day. Side effects of many medications may also cause extreme fatigue, and this factor must be considered by Social Security. Such situations are not compatible with full-time employment in the competitive labor market.
Often the medical records do not fully document these side effects and symptoms. Our office works with medical providers to get full and complete detail about any situation that may impair productivity. In addition, we call witnesses at a hearing to help document the limitations, and solicit letters from family members, friends, and people like former co-workers or pastors.
The medical records may be just the beginning of the story – we work to ensure a happy ending to this financial chapter of the claimant’s condition.