Woman Denied Benefits Based on Her Ability To Jog, Travel

Sometimes it can be helpful to hear about the outcomes of other Social Security Disability cases to understand how your own case could proceed.

In one example, the U.S. Court of Appeals for the Seventh Circuit recently upheld a lower court’s decision to deny disability benefits to a woman who claimed to have severe neck and head pain.

The woman said she began suffering head and neck pain after having a cyst removed from her brain. An MRI reportedly revealed that the woman had a pinched nerve in her neck that was likely responsible for the pain she felt. 

The woman said that the pain she suffered prevented her from working, and a chiropractor she visited said that the woman would probably have to miss work more than four times each month due to the pain and take frequent breaks.

However, the administrative law judge who reviewed the woman’s disability claim denied benefits after concluding that the woman was not totally disabled.

The U.S. District Court for the Eastern District of Wisconsin then upheld that decision after concluding that the woman went for long runs daily and took a trip to Australia despite her neck pain.

The woman appealed the decision, but U.S. Court of Appeals for the Seventh Circuit recently affirmed it, concluding that the administrative law judge was correct to determine that the woman was not disabled as required by the Social Security Act based on the evidence presented.

Ultimately, the case serves as a reminder that the administrative law judge deciding your claim may base his or her decision on more than what you present in your application.

In other words, if you say one thing in your application for benefits but then act another way in your life, it doesn’t bode well for your claim.