Hon. John Smith
ODAR North Atlanta
3105 Clairmont Rd.
Atlanta, GA 30329
Dear Judge Smith:
I represent claimant Jane Johnson with regard to her claim for SSDI benefits. A hearing is scheduled before your Honor on Wednesday, June 29, 2016 at 12:00pm. Please allow this letter to serve as my pre-hearing brief.
Claimant Johnson filed her application for benefits on August 23, 2014, alleging an onset date of August 17, 2011. The claimant is insured for Title II benefits through September 30, 2014. The claimant was born on October 15, 1952, making her 64 years old currently. The claimant was 59 years old as of August 17, 2011.
The claimant is a high school graduate with an associates degree in art.
The claimant has a long and consistent work history. From 2005 through 2010 the claimant worked as an arena usher at Jolson Arena in Nashville, TN. Since that time, she has been self employed as an crafts teacher. The claimant continues to work sporadically, but will testify that she earns between $400 and $700 per month gross teaching art to children.
The medical record documents that the claimant is a survivor of uterine cancer, and that she has severe degenerative disc disease impacting her back and her hips bilaterally.
In July, 2014 the claimant was diagnosed with ovarian cancer (1F/6), and she underwent a hysterectomy, followed by chemotherapy (3F/1, 3).
The claimant’s degenerative disc disease is documented radiographically. CT scans of her back in 2014 showed Grade I spondylolisthesis at L5/S1 with bilateral pars defect (fracture of vertebrae) (2F/19). A CT in 2015 showed compression fractures at C7 and L1.
Currently because she has no medical insurance, the claimant can only afford to treat with a chiropractor. She contends that her lower back and hip “freeze” after 20 to 30 minutes of sitting, or less than 10 minutes of standing or walking. She will testify that she experiences excruciating pain up to 5 times per day and that she cannot sleep through the night due to frequent episodes of pain.
We contend that the record will show that the claimant could not perform work at any level greater than the light exertional level. As such, Grid Rule 202.06 would dictate a finding of “disabled.”
In the alternative we contend that an overall consideration of the claimant’s functional capacity would indicate that her maximum capacity for work is equivalent to the part time art teaching that she is doing, which is less than substantial gainful activity.
Thank you for your consideration of this claim.
VERY TRULY YOURS,
GINSBERG LAW OFFICES, P.C.
by: JONATHAN C. GINSBERG