What Can an Attorney do When the Client is too Disabled to Attend Her Hearing?

June 24,2008
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At a Brooklyn Social Security Disability hearing a few days ago, I represented a young woman who had a number of medical conditions which prevented her from working – most notably, an inner ear condition which made it impossible for her to ride in elevators due to the rapid changes in pressure. Unfortunately, her hearing was scheduled for an office located on the 18th floor of the Brooklyn Hearing Office. Proper documentation was presented to the Administrative Law Judge to confirm her inability to take the elevator to her scheduled hearing. However, I asked her to nevertheless be present at the building, but to remain on the first floor as evidence to the ALJ that our client was most certainly interested in pursuing her claim – even if it meant taking her testimony telephonically. As a result of the evidence I submitted on her behalf, and statements to the ALJ, I was successfully able to obtain a fully favorable decision for her without the need for her testimony.
Needless to say, she was extremely thankful that (1) I was successful, and (2) that she would not have to subject herself to a great deal of discomfort at the prospect of taking the elevator to the 18th floor. It’s these seemingly small things which mean a lot to our clients that makes me proud of what I do.
Brian Anson, Esq.