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From the Files of Powell and Denny

From the Files of Powell and Denny

In this week’s “From the Files of Powell and Denny” blog, I am going to review a Social Security Disability claim we had in North Alabama.

Our client lived in Huntsville, AL, and unfortunately suffered from schizophrenia.    Schizophrenia is a mental illness which affects how a sufferer experiences reality. Some symptoms include paranoia, auditory or visual hallucinations, disorganized thinking and delusions, and our client suffered from most of these.

Our client applied for Social Security Disability benefits and was denied.  That is when he hired our firm, and we worked with our client and his mother to obtain all of his relevant medical records and asked pointed questions to his treating physicians about his mental problems.  By the time we were scheduled for a hearing before Administrative Law Judge Patrick Digby, our client’s record had several statements by medical professionals saying that given his condition, it was not reasonable to expect our client to be able to maintain steady employment.  During the hearing our client testified about the voices he was hearing (auditory hallucinations) and his mother testified about how chaotic our client’s life had been over the last few years.  At the end of the hearing, we felt pretty good about how the hearing progressed-but a few months later we received an unfavorable decision from Judge Digby, so we filed an appeal and took the case to Federal Court.

During an appeal to Federal Court from a denied Social Security Disability claim, new testimony is not presented to the Court.  Instead, the lawyers review all the evidence and file briefs which provide an overview of the facts in the case and a review of the applicable case law and rules set forth in the Code of Federal Regulations.  After reviewing our brief and the brief submitted by the attorneys for the Social Security Administration, the judge for United States District Court for the Northern District of Alabama, Northeastern Division ruled that the administrative law judge had misapplied the law and reversed the findings of Judge Digby, and our client was awarded the Social Security Disability benefits he was entitled to receive.

While we always strive to win at the hearing level, the fact is that there are judges employed by the Social Security Administration who deny most of the cases they hear, which means that the lawyer you hire to represent you during your hearing not only has to be knowledgeable in how best to present your case, but they also have to know how to preserve issues for appeal and how to effectively present your legal arguments to the Federal Court should your claim be denied.

At Powell and Denny, both Mr. Powell and Mr. Denny have 30 years of individual experience handling Social Security Disability (SSDI) and Supplemental Security Income (SSI) claim, not only before the administrative law judge-but also in Federal Court if necessary.

If you or a loved one lives in Alabama, you are suffering from the effects of schizophrenia, or from any mental illness or physical problem that prevents you from working and you believe you are disabled as the result and are entitled to Social Security Disability or SSI benefits, you do not have to take on the Social Security Administration alone. Please feel free to talk with one of the experienced Alabama Disability Attorneys at Powell and Denny today.  Free consultations are available in person; virtual appointments are also available via Zoom, so you can meet with a lawyer from the comfort of your home.

Powell and Denny: We Work When You Can’t

Offices in Birmingham, AL and Huntsville, AL


Alabama Disability Attorneys

Birmingham Social Security Disability Attorneys

Hoover Social Security Disability Lawyers

Huntsville Social Security Disability Attorneys

North Alabama Social Security Disability Lawyers

Powell and Denny have been selected as one of the Best Law Firms by U.S. News and World Report for each of the last 9 years, have been selected as one of Birmingham’s Top Lawyers by B-Metro Magazine for the last 5 years, have been selected by The National Advocates as one of the Top 20 Workers’ Compensation Firms (plaintiffs) and Powell and Denny, P.C.-has been selected as one of the “Best of the Best” law firms by The American Registry.

Mr. Denny is AV rated by Martindale Hubbard (the highest rating possible) and Mr. Powell has been rated as Superior by The National Registry

+ Powell and Denny have successfully represented injured workers from Birmingham, Huntsville, Florence, Muscle Shoals, Tuscumbia, Athens, Decatur, Town Creek Ardmore, Hartselle, Madison, Toney, Scottsboro, Ft. Payne, New Hope, Guntersville, Albertville, Boaz, Ashville, Anniston, Gadsden, Cullman, Jasper, Gardendale, Morris, Kimberly, Centerpoint, Leeds, Tarrant City, Fairfield, Hueytown, Bessemer, Adger, Tuscaloosa, Cordova, Alabaster, Pelham, Harpersville, Opelika, Phenix City, Montgomery, Clanton, Calera, Enterprise, Monroeville, Mobile, Evergreen, Alabaster, Pelham, Trussville and towns and cities in between.


From the Files of Powell and Denny

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  • Birmingham Office
    1320 Alford Avenue
    Suite 201
    Birmingham, Alabama 35226
    Phone: 205-978-2051
    Fax: 205-978-2054
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    600 Boulevard South
    SW Suite 104
    Huntsville, Alabama 35802
    Phone: 256-705-3510
    Fax: 256-705-3513

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