4.5 Years Later, Court Denies Man’s Disability Application

After over four and a half years, an Arkansas man will not be able to receive Social Security Disability Insurance (“SSDI”) or Supplemental Security Income (“SSI”), a federal court in Arkansas recently decided. 41-year-old Brian Poole began his disability benefits application process in December of 2006. He claimed that, since April of that year, he had been unable to work as a result of several conditions, including sleep apnea, shoulder problems, a hernia, depression and obesity. Injured workers may wish to speak to a Tulsa Social Security disability attorney for guidance on receiving disability benefits.

The Social Security Administration (“SSA”) denied Poole’s application in February of 2007. He asked for reconsideration, which also resulted in a denial later in May. He appealed to the next level, where an administrative law judge (“ALJ”) heard his case in June of 2008. While the ALJ found that Poole suffered severe impairments, she found that he did not meet the severity level that regulations required. With testimony from a vocational expert, the ALJ determined that Poole was in fact able to work and could do so as a bench hand assembler, general office clerk or a surveillance system monitor.

Displeased with this assessment, Poole appealed his disability benefits case to the federal court in Arkansas. The court reviewed his case records, including doctors’ notes to the effect that Poole drank a twelve pack of beer weekly and two liters of Mountain Dew per day, and smoked two packs of cigarettes a day. Except for activities involving reaching up or carrying heavy loads, several doctors noted that Poole could work in certain, limited capacities. As a result, the court determined that Poole failed to establish that he could not engage in any gainful activity.

Troutman & Troutman, P.C. – Tulsa Social Security disability lawyers



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