On April 1, 2012, Ron became disabled by chronic pain and reduced range of motion associated with two discectomy and decompression surgeries of the cervical spine; muscle tension headaches associated with degenerative disc disease of the cervical spine; tendonitis and paresthesias of the upper extremities secondary to the aforementioned problems; and right wrist extensor.
On June 12, 2012, Ron filed a claim for SSDI. Ron’s Social Security claim was denied initially on August 29, 2012 and upon reconsideration on October 19, 2012. A request for hearing was filed October 29, 2012 and Ron appeared before an Administrative Law Jude in Spokane, Washington, at a hearing held on May 1, 2014. He was represented by John J. Chihak. Both a medical expert and vocational expert also testified during the hearing.
At the hearing, Ron testified that movement of his head and neck resulted in ongoing chronic prolonged headaches and that the neuropathy symptoms of his upper extremities had never been relieved.
The medical evidence Chihak & Associates obtained supported Ron’s allegations of debilitating limitations secondary to his impairments. Ron’s providers included Mount Carmel Hospital, Bernard Currigan DO, and CHAS Clinic. Ron’s doctors completed medical opinion forms provided to him by Chihak & Associates that confirmed Ron’s impairments and limitations.
The medical expert at the hearing testified that the claimant’s difficulties stemmed from his repetitive work related injury and that with two neck surgeries, he had evidence of significant impingement. The medical expert testified that Ron would have limitations looking up and down as well as pulling and pushing with his upper extremities.
The vocational expert at the hearing testified that given the claimant’s inability to gaze or look down, as would be required of a working performing keyboarding or assembly work, and inability to turn his head in all directions, that Ron would be unable to perform his past work or any other jobs in the national economy.
Ultimately, based on the medical evidence, Ron’s testimony, and the testimony of the medical and vocational experts, the Administrative Law Judge approved Ron’s claim for SSDI benefits.