Oregon residents who have been through the Social Security Administration’s application and appeals process for SSDI and SSI benefits know how complicated, frustrating and unbending the system can be — particularly when it comes to satisfying medical evidence requirements.
As difficult and time-consuming as that can be, most applicants seeking disability benefits for physical injuries and disorders can count themselves fortunate not to have had to face a dilemma like the one Adam Metcalf and his family are dealing with now.
Metcalf, a married father of four boys who lives in Massachusetts, has been suffering from a degenerative nerve disorder for some time. The condition eventually worsened to the point where he could not stand or sit for long periods of time without extreme pain and as a result, was forced to leave his position as an executive for Toyota Corporation. He has been unable to work and support his family ever since.
Although a degenerative nerve disorder like the one Metcalf has would normally result in an award of disability benefits in fairly short order, the SSA requires an official medical diagnosis first. Unfortunately, Metcalf can’t give them one.
The reason? Metcalf underwent surgery for a brain aneurysm in 1999. The procedure was successful but required the insertion of a metal clip in his head. The presence of the metal clip, in turn, makes the MRI scan that doctors need to officially diagnose his degenerative nerve disorder impossible without exposing Metcalf to extreme danger.
Not surprisingly, the SSA insisted that Metcalf’s physical disorder cannot be diagnosed without an MRI and denied his claim for disability benefits.
Metcalf is currently in the process of appealing that decision while his wife, Amanda, works full-time to support the family. Friends and neighbors in the close-knit Massachusetts community are also trying to help by organizing a fundraiser event for their benefit.
Source: Leominster Champion, “Helping a friend and family in need,” Danielle Ray, June 15, 2012