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Not so obvious impairments

A large portion of people applying for disability aren't able to work as a result of common disabilities, such as orthopedic impairments. Those impairments are not as hard to prove in a technical sense. X-rays and MRIs can provide proof of spine injuries, for example. However, some disabilities are very hard to prove.

Even though we've been in this business for decades, we often have clients with disabilities that aren't well known, and can't been seen on an x-ray or a scan. For instance, a client came to us with a disability of Cyclic Vomiting Syndrome ("CVS"). This particular syndrome is results in severe nausea and vomiting that often lasts for days. It has no known cause or cure. Every few weeks, this client would suffer from episodes of constant vomiting, lasting for 2 to 3 days at a time. When he wasn't plagued by days of constant vomiting, he suffered from intermittent bouts of vomiting every week, often as many as 15 additional episodes of vomiting. As you can imagine, he wasn't able to continue working. He came to Binder & Binder® for help filing his disability claim.

Unfortunately, CVS, like many other impairments, is not obvious. While it can be accompanied by symptoms of extreme fatigue and loss of appetite, the complaints are often subjective. In other words, the symptoms can be felt and experienced by the individual, but aren't really visible or able to be proven by a doctor. What exactly does this mean? Well, for example, it's easy for a doctor to see and diagnose cancers through blood work and scans. But, it's not as easy to "see" severe nausea and constant fatigue. And, there is no specific test to diagnose CVS. Rather, a doctor would need to rule out other conditions that could produce the same symptoms.

Because this client's impairment is one that is very hard to prove, his claim was denied when he appeared before an Administrative Law Judge. Even though he delivering a strong testimony at his hearing,he didn't have an "official" diagnosis and the Social Security Administration refused to find him disabled. Although this client's impairmentwas not as obvious on paper as another client's impairments may be, we didn't turn him away when he was denied. We appealed the unfavorable decisions and kept appealing while obtaining as much medical support from his treating doctors as possible. In the end, our client was granted a Fully Favorable decision and received his Social Security Disability benefits.

Not all disabilities are obvious. But, at Binder & Binder®, we fight for our client's benefits, even when it means putting in the extra time and work to help make the not-so-obvious impairments a little more obvious.

1 Comment

I am a former client of Binder and Binder,and I caanot say enough good things about them! I suffer from PTSD,anxiety,and depression so the whole process was very hard on me,but because of the phenomenal people at Binder I was treated with dignity,care,and compassion.And they never stopped working until they got my disability. They always kept me in the loop and called frequently with updates.I have never been treated so well and am SUPER GLAD I hired them Thay are amazing!!!

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