Hiding Your Illness


Every now and then lawyers make mistakes.  People can end up in very serious situations by hiding illness. Mrs. Ontario was just such a person. In 2010 she had severe degenerative disc disease with accompanying nerve pain, problems with her gallbladder, and vision loss because of cataracts.  She was a grocery store cashier and, of course, this made it very difficult to see the receipts, make change accurately, and correctly ring up purchases.  The job required her to stay on her feet most of the day and it began to be too much to where the pain was simply aggravating.

Miscommunication leads to mistakes

She applied for Social Security disability. However due to some miscommunication with her attorney, she did not show up for the hearing and her Social Security case was dismissed.  The lawyer was a family friend and she certainly did not want to sue him.  Angered by all of this, she tried to work again; however, in order to find a job, she had to hide most of her problems.  She thought she could at least make it through a job interview and put on a good appearance by hiding her illness.

Condition worsens

Eventually she was hired at a corrections facility. Not exactly an easy job for someone with her problems, but at least the detailed vision requirements was less of an issue.  She then tried to force herself to work as long as she could.  She succeeded and was able to work several more years, until 2015 when her problems again began to be too much.  At this point in time she had radiculopathy and was not a candidate for surgery.  After standing for only five or 10 minutes her legs went numb. The pain became too great after sitting for 20 minutes.  On top of that now she had Raynaud’s syndrome, worse vision issues and bad side effects from taking Norco.  It became obvious that she was a danger to herself and others due to these problems.

Disability lawyers able to help

She had no income and no spouse or children to help pay the bills. She eventually had to move in with family members and seek help with her bills.  When she came to us, we put her in touch with several organizations that act as a safety net to help people in dire circumstances while they are waiting to be of hopefully approved for Social Security disability.  This time her Social Security lawyer diligently pursued her claim, and won her case.  We kept her informed every step of the way and diligently prepared her before the hearing.  The back payment helped her to pay off some of her bills, but if it had not been for family and the safety net, she would have never made it that far.  Now, with a monthly benefit, her life is stable again.  She hopes that she can also now get the surgery she needs to correct her vision problems.


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