Posts Categorized: Case Notes

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The Necessity of a Medical Expert

Younger individual admitted to the hospital status-post fall with lower extremity weakness and paranesthesia. MRI showed significant compression of the spinal cord. Claimant was rushed for emergency decompression surgery. After two months of inpatient rehabilitation, the individual gradually started to regain function of his extremities. The individual continued to seek treatment for complaints of neck pain, lower back pain, and spasticity in his upper and lower extremities.
The medical evidence of record contained conflicting opinions from a Consultative Examiner (Doctor hired by Social Security) and the claimant’s own treating physician. In the case that there are conflicting opinions within the file, an Administrative Law Judge may call on a Medical Expert to testify. The job of Medical Expert is to review the evidence of record and give an opinion regarding the severity of one’s condition and any limitations caused from said conditions. Additionally, the Medical Expert will opine if any conditions meet/equal a SSA Medical Listing. The Medical Expert after cross examination, opined that Claimant met Medical Listing 1.04A, resulting in a Favorable decision for the claimant. Michael Eason represented the claimant at his hearing.


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Don’t Let A Bias ALJ Become Your Reality

No longer able to work because of her multiple sclerosis, a 42-year-old woman was no longer able to support herself, and was stuck living with her abusive boyfriend. An Administrative Law Judge denied her claim because she moved in with another man too quickly after escaping her previous living situation. He reasoned that she was clearly not disabled because she could talk to another man while living with her abuser. Really? Olinsky Law Group took her case to Federal Court. The District Court Judge did not take the ALJ’s statements lightly, and remanded the case to a new administrative law judge. Howard Olinsky and Matthew McGarry represented the claimant.


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Why A Well-Prepared Representative Can Make The Winning Difference

Claimant was denied at her first 2 hearings by the same ALJ, who failed to even read her medical records. Our firm took this case to Federal Court, and eventually attended her 3rd hearing, at which a new ALJ gave fair consideration to the Claimant’s impairments and limitations.
Claimant’s impairments included Ehlers Danlos Syndrome, a connective tissue disorder causing hypermobility, unprovoked dislocations, subluxations and pain. The hearing a Medical Expert was used to give an opinion regarding whether or not the Claimant’s condition was severe prior to her date last insured, 12/31/06. After vigorous cross examination, the medical expert testified that Claimant’s symptoms and disabling limitations were present before the end of 2006. In 2018, Claimant received a Favorable Decision, which awarded her retroactive benefits going back to 2006. Terry Schmidt represented the claimant at her hearing.


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Bad ALJ’s make for bad decisions, fight back with an appeal.

Unable to work due to her neck and back conditions, and despite neck surgery that did not resolve her pain, our client plead her case before an Administrative Law Judge. She described an inability to sit without constant pain and her struggles at home attempting to cook for herself. Sadly, the Judge denied her claim. Olinsky Law Group appealed her case to the United States District Court for the Eastern District of New York and won a remand for a new hearing. Melissa DelGuercio and Howard Olinsky represented the claimant.


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Don’t Let The ALJ Have The Final Say

A 41-year-old woman could no longer work due to depression, anxiety, and arthritis in her back and knees. She filed for disability benefits, but was denied after a hearing with an Administrative Law Judge. She appealed her case, but lost the appeal.
Olinsky Law Group took over the appeal and filed a claim in the United States District Court for the Northern District of New York. The Federal Court found that the ALJ’s decision was so poorly reasoned, it could not stand. It ordered a new hearing. Melissa Palmer represented the claimant.


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Fighting for Those Who Fought for Us

A Veteran in Maryland filed for disability benefits due to epilepsy, degenerative arthritis, and depression. She went to a hearing, but the Administrative Law Judge denied her claim.
Olinsky Law Group filed an appeal in the United States District Court for the District of Maryland. The Federal Court sent the case back for another hearing because the ALJ failed to support his decision with evidence: he had no proof that she could work. Ted Wicklund represented the client with Melissa Palmer assisting on the brief.


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Why You Should Never Give Up

A gentleman became disabled in 2007, and filed for disability benefits in 2008. At a hearing, where he was not represented, an Administrative Law Judge granted benefits for a period of just over a year, but the ALJ decided that his condition had improved to such an extent that he was not entitled to continuing benefits.
He hired Olinsky Law Group to appeal his case. The case was appealed all the way to the United States District Court for the Northern District of New York.
The Federal Court found that the evidence did not show that his condition improved, and it sent the case back for a second hearing. He was represented at the second hearing, but the ALJ again denied the claim. Olinsky Law Group did not hesitate to take the case straight to Federal Court.
The Federal Court once again sent the case back for another hearing, and once again, he was denied benefits. Olinsky Law Group again appealed the case to Federal Court, and asked it to do what should have been done a long time ago.
Finally, in 2018, after ten years of fighting for what he deserved, the Federal Court granted his application for benefits, including tens of thousands of dollars in back pay for the entire time he fought his case. Howard Olinsky represented the client with Melissa Palmer assisting on the Federal Court brief.


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Sometimes you have to go to the Appeals Council.

Suffering from major depressive disorder, generalized anxiety disorder, back problems and diabetes, a woman files for Social Security Disability benefits and Supplemental Security Income.

She went to a hearing with an Administrative Law Judge. She had a non-attorney representing her. The judge denied her claim.

Then she hired Olinsky Law Group. Howard Olinsky took her case to the Appeals Council, which ordered a new hearing.

The next time, she won her case. Not only that, but she won years of back benefits covering all the delays, going back to when she first reported her disability.


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Never go into a hearing without a knowledgeable representative.

A 45-year-old woman could no longer work because of multiple health problems: depression, anxiety, torn ligaments, arthritis, left knee disorder, right knee disorder, ulcers, gastroesophageal reflux, obesity and carpal tunnel syndrome.
She filed for disability benefits. When she went to a hearing with an Administrative Law Judge, she had no representation.
The judge denied her claim.
Olinsky Law Group took over her appeal. Howard Olinsky took her case to the United States District Court for the Middle District of Florida.
The Federal Court found the ALJ’s decision was full of inconsistencies. It ordered a new hearing for the woman.
This time, she won a fully favorable decision and years of back benefits.


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Sometimes you win when you get a second hearing.

No longer able to work because of multiple health conditions, a woman took her case to an Administrative Law Judge.
She suffered from mood disorder, personality disorder, bipolar disorder, chronic obstructive pulmonary disease, peripheral neuropathy, carpal tunnel syndrome, degenerative disc disease, neuritis and scoliosis.
But the judge denied her claim.
With the help of Howard Olinsky, she went to the Appeals Council.
The Appeals Council found the ALJ did not properly evaluate the medical evidence on her psychiatric disorders and called for a new hearing.
In the second hearing, she won full benefits.