Just last month, the 7th Circuit Court of Appeals issued a decision in favor of a Keller & Keller client in the case of Thomas v. Colvin. This case reached the 7th Circuit after being appealed numerous times following initial filing in 2010. While the Social Security Disability process can often take quite a while, Keller & Keller’s disability cases are generally resolved much more quickly than this. However, this case shows that Keller & Keller will relentlessly fight to obtain disability benefits for disabled clients, even if this process can take years and require argument before the highest courts in the land. In fact, the 7th Circuit is only one level below the United States Supreme Court and is only available if someone seeking benefits has been all the way through Social Security’s administrative process and a prior federal court appeal.
The Thomas v. Colvin decision shows that Keller & Keller’s zealous advocacy was well-founded. Despite evidence of back problems, shoulder problems, Graves’ disease, a chronic form of depression, and fibromyalgia, an administrative law judge ruled that these impairments did not impose more than “minimal” limitations. The administrative law judge’s evaluation of fibromyalgia was particularly problematic – the judge refused to accept the diagnosis of fibromyalgia, reasoning that the diagnosis was inconsistent with criteria developed all the way back in 1990.
Our Disability Attorneys Will Take Your Fight for Fibromyalgia Disability Benefits All the Way
Frequently, Keller & Keller has to be particularly aggressive in asserting the right of its clients with fibromyalgia. The SSA itself recognizes that fibromyalgia is a complex medical condition characterized primarily by widespread pain in the joints, muscles, tendons, or nearby soft tissues, and can certainly be a basis for disability.
Nonetheless, administrative law judges and Social Security’s medical experts are often skeptical of fibromyalgia complaints, as they cannot be confirmed with things like x-rays or blood tests. In the Thomas v. Colvin case, the judge reasoned that the medical records did not show sufficient evidence of the “tender points” referenced in the 1990 criteria.
With Keller & Keller’s experience in fibromyalgia cases, our disability attorneys were able to successfully argue to the 7th Circuit that the administrative law judge had neglected newer, more expansive criteria for fibromyalgia&mdahs;what the American College of Rheumatology had developed in 2010 to account for many more fibromyalgia symptoms, such as muscle pain, fatigue, thinking or remembering problems (commonly referred to as “fibro fog”), headaches, dizziness, insomnia, and others. After hearing argument from Keller & Keller, the 7th Circuirt recognized that the newer 2010 criteria should have been considered by the administrative law judge.
Contact Our Disability Attorneys Today to Learn More About Getting Benefits for Fibromyalgia
If you or a loved one is unable to work because of fibromyalgia, you are welcome to contact Keller & Keller to discuss disability benefits which may be available. The Thomas v. Colvin case shows that Keller & Keller has the experience to win fibromyalgia cases, and will fight relentlessly until judges and other decision makers recognize the toll fibromyalgia can take on someone. At Keller & Keller, we understand fibromyalgia, and will fight for your rights.