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Doug Landau
Doug Landau
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Gout Helps Win Injured Worker's Disability Case

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After being disabled from an on the job shoulder injury, an ABRAMS LANDAU workers compensation client applied for Social Security Disability benefits. This Winchester area worker had undergone several rotator cuff repair surgeries. This, in and of itself, while limiting his return to the full range of duties required by his pre-injury job, would not qualify the worker for the Federal disability benefits. However, this gentleman had gouty arthritis in both legs. These impairments affected the claimant’s ability to lift, squat, bend, reach, sit, kneel and climb stairs. The Clarke County Virginia man’s gout was unrelated to his on the job accident or medical care, but it was hugely important to the ultimate decision in his Social Security case.

The Administrative Law Judge found that these "impairments could reasonably be expected to produce the alleged symptoms." Furthermore, his medications made him "groggy" and tired, and he could only walk a short distance before needing to stop and rest. The Federal judge further found the disabled worker’s statements concerning the intensity, persistence and limiting effects of these symptoms "credible." A treating doctor opined that the claimant, as the result of his medical problems, "was unable to sustain an 8 hour work day for 5 days a week, 52 weeks a year." With this record, the judge found the claimant "unable to perform any past relevant work or other jobs that exist in significant numbers in the national economy."

The Federal Administrative Law Judge awarded three years of back due benefits, as well as continuing monthly payments. The claimant’s state workers compensation claim also remains open. An experienced Workers Compensation lawyer who regularly appears before the Social Security Administration will often coordinate Federal disability benefits for those no longer able to work at their past calling or any other jobs found in significant numbers in the national economy.