As of February 2013, Helen was found disabled based on her severe Crohn’s Disease.
Helen had filed a claim for SSDI benefits in August of 2013, which was initially denied in January of 2014. Helen appealed and was denied at reconsideration on May, 2014. Helen appeared at a hearing before an Administrative Law Judge in Spokane, Washington in December 2015. Helen was represented by John Chihak. A medical expert appeared and testified at the hearing. A vocational expert also appeared at the hearing but did not testify.
In preparation for Helen’s hearing, Chihak & Associates obtained medical evidence from the Deaconess Medical Center, Inland Empire Gastroenterology, and Columbia Medical Associates North of Spokane.
At the hearing, Helen testified that she was forced to stop working as a Certified Nursing Assistant in February 2013 because of the severe abdominal pain that her Crohn’s Disease was causing. Helen stated at the hearing that she struggles getting up in the morning and completing normal day-to-day activities that most people take for granted.
The medical expert at the hearing testified that the record shows that Helen has had extensive treatment for her Crohn’s Disease. The medical expert testified that Helen had been followed closely by her doctors and that the symptoms and limitations that Helen is experiencing are consistent with her medical records. The medical expert also concluded that Helen’s Crohn’s Disease was severe enough to meet Social Security’s criteria for disability.
The administrative Law Judge found that the medical expert’s testimony, based on his review of the records obtained by Chihak & Associates, was sufficient and Helen’s claim for SSDI was approved.