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Claimants’ Advocate

Donald Shiffman of the Law Firm of Zamler, Mellen & Shiffman, P.C. has been extremely successful with the processing of appeals to administrative law judges at the Social Security Administration, Since January 1, 2010 Attorney Shiffman has receive approximately 80 decisions of which 87% have resulted in favorable outcomes for his clients.

The decisions involve claimants who have been denied for either applications for social security disability, supplement security income or widow’s benefits.

Examples of successful decisions include a woman who was at work and developed a significant back problem after lifting a 65 pound item. Following an application to the Social Security Administration which was denied, Attorney Shiffman was able to supply credible medical evidence to support this individual’s disability.

In another claim, a woman under age 50 developed a left leg disorder which limited her ability to perform regular work activity to part-time work at best. Upon filing for social security disability benefits, the Social Security Administration indicated that her disability was not severe enough to render her disabled. Attorney Shiffman filed the appeal and presented the claim before an administrative law judge developing credible medical evidence which supported this claimant’s ongoing health issue establishing her inability to perform full-time gainful work activity. The administrative law judge concluded that Mr. Shiffman’s argument was valid and awarded full benefits finding the claimant disabled as of the date she began part-time work.

In another claim, Attorney Shiffman represented an individual who moved out of the state of Michigan. The claim continued before an administrative law judge in Michigan. Attorney Shiffinan was able to obtain credible medical evidence and argue to the administrative law judge that the medical records themselves would support this claimant’s argument that he should be found totally disabled without the necessity of a hearing. Based upon that argument by way of a written brief, the administrative law judge issued a fully favorable decision without the necessity of the claimant returning back to Michigan for his hearing.

In another successful claim, Attorney Shiffman argued that following a motor vehicle accident a 50 year old man suffered significant injuries that resulted in back surgery, Medical records obtained by Attorney Shiffman provided to the administrative law judge convinced the administrative law judge that benefits should be paid based upon this individual’s vocational profile and severity of his musculoskeletal disorders.

In yet another claim, an individual had suffered a motorcycle accident in the 1990’s for which he was award a closed period of disability benefits. After that period ended, the individual returned to work for a lengthy period of time. However, he ultimately suffered an exacerbation of his impairments which led him to refile a new application for social security benefits. In that claim, Attorney Shiffman was able to argue that this individual had again developed significant health issues that, in combination, rendered him unable to perform any substantial gainful activity allowing the administrative law judge to award benefits for the indefinite future.

In yet another interesting claim, an individual had hired another attorney to represent her in the processing of a social security claim. That matter was tried before an administrative law judge who ruled that the claimant did not have a. total disability. Upon appeal of the matter, the original attorney discharged himself from the claim. Upon presentation to Mr. Shiffman’s law office, Attorney Shiffman took on the appeal with the claim being sent back to an administrative law judge for further review. Upon further development of the medical records along with arguments presented to the new administrative law judge the claimant was able to obtain benefits with the new administrative law judge accepting the argument of Attorney Shiffman and awarding benefits back to the original alleged onset date of disability.

About the Author

Alecia Sweeney
Alecia Sweeney
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