How easy is it to “get on disability”?
Here is another Myth, Misrepresentation and Misleading Attack on Social Security disability claimants: They say it’s easy to get on disability.
How easy is it really? Here’s a case in point. Our client, R.P., is a veteran. He retired some years ago after an honorably-served career in the United States Navy. Much of his service was spent at sea. He is 100% service-connected disabled based on his Veterans Administration rating. He has severe diabetes and, among other complications, is almost blind.
Mr. P. applied for Social Security disability benefits July 16, 2010. His application was denied. He filed his Social Security disability appeal and had a hearing before an administrative law judge. The decision from the judge was written over two years after Mr. P. applied for his disability insurance benefits.The ALJ denied the claim. The judge expressly disregarded the Veterans Administration disability finding, and disregarded the medical report of Mr. P.’sVeterans Administration doctor. The judge decided that Mr. P.’s medical problems were simply not as severe as these people thought they were. He also wrote that Mr. P. was not a credible witness when he testified under oath.
The Appeals Council of the Social Security Administration stood by its ALJ’s decision, after taking another year to do so.
We appealed to the United States District Court in Norfolk, Virginia. In June of last year, the court ordered the Social Security administration decision reversed and directed that the claim be reconsidered.
A second hearing was held with the administrative law judge who denied Mr. P.’s claim over two and a half years after the first hearing. We received a new decision today. The judge agreed that Mr. P. has in fact been disabled since 2009. It is now be five years since this disabled veteran applied for his disability benefits.Despite his seriously deteriorating health, and his age (he is now 68 years old), we have every hope that Mr. P. will see his money before he dies. It seems like our country owes him that.
This is far from an unusual case. Is it easy to “get on disability”? You be the judge.