In the summer of 2019, attorney Erika Riggs met with a family in her office in Troy, Michigan, who had called her for a free consultation. They explained that they were all going through what had been the most difficult time in their life. Having suffered significant loss of their father, and tragic injuries from a car accident, the son had now received a Cessation letter from Social Security. This letter not only meant the loss of his desperately needed disability benefits, but also termination of Medicare – the insurance covering treatment for his many chronic, progressive conditions – including a rare condition called syringomyelia – was almost too much to bear. He knew that if he wasn’t able to see his specialists, including his neurologist, his condition could deteriorate further. That’s when he called Disability Law Group, seeking assistance appealing his recent cessation notice from the Social Security Administration.
Mrs. Riggs took the call and could hear the desperation in his voice as he told her that other attorneys and disability law firms had turned him down – stating that because he intended to keep his benefits while awaiting his next level appeal determination, taking his case would mean no attorney fee even if he won. Erika listened to his story, and the suffering he and his family had endured on top of it all; she agreed to take his case pro bono. Most of all, Attorney Riggs recalls that “the family must have been one of the nicest families” she had ever met, and she was “not going to allow him to lose his critical insurance benefits,” especially when her review of the medical records showed that his condition had not improved; therefore, there existed no reasonable grounds for denying him the benefits he deserved and desperately needed. His conditions include syringomyelia, osteopenia, chronic insomnia, chronic pain syndrome, Charcot arthropathy, migraine headaches, pelvic floor dysfunction, ADHD, bipolar disorder, depressive disorder, and anxiety disorder.
That day, Erika and her compassionate team at Disability Law Group, worked diligently to help him – working with her clients’ doctors and healthcare providers to obtain all evidence that was missed by Social Security at the Reconsideration level, and even drafting forms to help support his ongoing disability. Next, the team submitted a waiver of the 75-day notice of a court date so that the client could have his court date scheduled immediately, without any unnecessary delay. By January of 2020, the time for the hearing in front of an Administrative Law Judge (ALJ) had come. Erika presented opening and closing arguments, in addition to her pre-hearing brief outlining the supportive evidence establishing disability, and she cross-examined the Vocational Expert to support the case. Ultimately, the ALJ agreed, and shortly thereafter, issued a Fully Favorable decision, finding that disability did not end.
Fortunately, this decision meant that Erika’s client could keep his benefits he had received while waiting for this determination, without having to pay back his benefits nor going without his insurance. While the disability hearing process may seem overwhelming and difficult, an experienced attorney can help you understand your options and ensure you are prepared at every step. If you or a loved one is unable to work full-time due to your medical condition(s), 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 deserve. Call us today to schedule your free consultation. 800-838-1100.