In March of 2019, a terrible incident occurred in Detroit, Michigan, where an individual sustained severe 3rd degree burns to both of his arms from grease. He was immediately hospitalized for three weeks, undergoing split thickness skin grafting to his left arm and xenograft to his right arm. Unfortunately, following the operations, he was in severe pain – so much so that narcotic pain medication nor PCA pushes would relieve his symptoms. Therefore, he was taken back for split thickness skin grafting of his right arm. Upon discharge, he was prescribed a series of pain medications to help him manage his pain and muscle spasms at home, including Lyrica and Flexeril.
Recovery at home was another long and hard battle with multiple rounds of physical and home therapy to gain use and control over his arms, hands, and fingers again. He admitted to limitations with carrying and handling objecting, and moving the affected areas. Not only was his functional mobility limited, but his social life was greatly impacted. He recalls feeling self-conscious over the look of his arms, and being overwhelmed with sadness regarding his inability to do all the tasks and hobbies he was used to before the accident occurred. Even caring for himself proved to be difficult.
Next, came surgical management for the scarring, and even additional surgeries including burn contracture release operations on his arms, and Co2 laser ablations to the arms due to symptomatic burns. Upon realizing that his life was not returning to normal as soon as he’d hoped with persistent, uncontrolled pain and muscle spasms, he decided to apply for disability benefits. While the monthly monetary benefit would be helpful as he was not able to work while recovering from his burn injuries, he also knew that the insurance accompanying disability benefits would help with his skyrocketing medical expenses.
He knew he wanted a team of experienced disability attorneys in Michigan that specialize strictly in disability claims, and with a demonstrated track record of success. He found Disability Law Group, and when he called he spoke to an attorney right away. Attorney Randall Mansour talked with him and helped him understand the disability process, promising to stick by his side at every step of the process beginning with the initial application for disability benefits.
Attorney Mansour filed the claimant’s disability application, and he included every detail of his medical history and health problems. After a few months of waiting, with many medical updates provided along the way, the state agency doctor (contracted by the Social Security Administration to review disability claims), determined that he was not significantly limited and would likely quickly improve. Ultimately, Social Security found that even though he could not return to jobs he was used to (including a packer, driver, laborer, and groundskeeper at Ford Motor Company), he could perform other full-time work. Social Security then issued a denial letter as they do for the vast majority of initial claims. Our team at Disability Law Group immediately appealed, requesting a hearing before an Administrative Law Judge (ALJ).
Randall prepared his client for what to expect, and obtained all helpful medical information to support his case. Advocating that his client’s condition had not improved and that he should be found “disabled” under the rules, Attorney Mansour argued that Listing 1.08 was met in this case due to the severe nature and extent of the burns sustained. The ALJ agreed, finding that the state agency doctor’s medical opinion was not persuasive based on the medical evidence in this case. Specifically, the ALJ decided, that the burns affecting the arms under surgical management, as defined under the Listings, directed toward the salvage or restoration of major function, and such function was not restored or expected to be restored within 12 months of onset. Therefore, the claimant received a Fully Favorable decision and was approved for the disability benefits and insurance he deserved.
While the disability process can be a difficult and long battle paper writer filled with many hurdles, an experienced attorney can help you understand your options, and help you obtain disability benefits as quickly as possible. If you or a loved one are unable to work full-time due to your medical condition(s) – whatever that condition may be – you could qualify for disability benefits. Whether you are looking to apply, have already been denied, or are awaiting your court date, you can call and speak with one of our attorneys to help you win the benefits you deserve. We will fight alongside you to make sure you receive the benefits you are entitled to. Call us today to schedule your free consultation. 800-838-1100.