If a person is unable to work due to an injury or chronic illness, he or she may be able to seek social security disability benefits. In order to obtain social security disability benefits, a person must be deemed disabled by an administrative law judge. In determining whether a person is disabled, the judge must employ a five-step process, during which any relevant facts and evidence are weighed. As set forth in a recent case decided by the United States District Court for the District of Massachusetts, the judge is required to properly weigh the medical evidence offered by both sides, and the failure to do so can result in a reversal of the judge’s ruling. If you suffer from an impairment that renders you unable to perform meaningful work, you should retain an experienced Massachusetts social security disability attorney to help you seek disability benefits.
Facts Regarding the Plaintiff’s Disabilities
Allegedly, the plaintiff was diagnosed with sickle cell anemia when she was sixteen. She worked as a legal secretary for several years but stopped working for a decade due to her disease. She resumed work as a legal secretary for another ten years and then was self-employed as a French translator and personal care assistant for four years. The plaintiff was then diagnosed with breast cancer, for which she underwent a mastectomy. Following the surgery, she became increasingly fatigued. She was also diagnosed with avascular necrosis of the left shoulder.
It is reported that the plaintiff filed a claim for Social Security Disability benefits, which was denied. She then filed a motion for reconsideration, which was also denied. A hearing was subsequently held by an administrative law judge to determine if the plaintiff was eligible for benefits. During the hearing, letters from two of the plaintiff’s treating physicians were introduced. The letters stated that due to the limitations caused by her chronic health conditions, the plaintiff was unable to work. Conversely, letters from the state agency’s medical consultations stated the plaintiff could resume her work as a legal secretary. The judge ultimately denied the plaintiff’s claim, and the plaintiff appealed.
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