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Cerebral Palsy is a disability under SSA’s regulations, as long as the medical condition prevents you from working. Recently, an ALJ denied a claimant with Cerebral Palsy. He did this even though Social Security’s own doctors opined she could not work. The claimant filed for disability benefits stating she could no longer work, because her Cerebral Palsy had become worse as she aged.

It was clear from the medical record that she could no longer walk without the use of a cane.  Social Security’s doctors examined her and found her back and legs had deteriorated and were deformed.  They said she could not walk or stand more than two hours in an eight hour day. Likewise, they also found she could not sit for more than 4 hours in an eight hour day.

These limitations alone would place the claimant into a part-time work status. However, the ALJ ignored these findings.  Another doctor performed an objective mental health examination at the request of the Social Security Administration. That examination found the claimant had severe depression and other mental impairments. The doctor stated these mental impairments precluded the claimant from performing all work.  Yet, the ALJ chose to ignore the findings of both doctors. The ALJ did this even though the medical opinions were requested by the SSA.


The ALJ’s findings contradict the medical record. What is more difficult to accept is that the ALJ knew that his findings were not supported by the medical. They were also not consistent with what he could see in the courtroom.  The ALJ had the opportunity to see the claimant walk into the court room with a deformed leg. The ALJ could also see her inability to walk and sit during the hearing.

According to the medical records, the claimant meets the listing for Cerebral Palsy. Read more about disability benefits and meeting the listing for cerebral palsy here. Therefore, benefits are payable to her because of his disability.

Despite all of the facts and the obvious inability of the claimant to perform a seated job, the ALJ said he didn’t need to accept the opinions of the doctors and he denied benefits.  If ALJ’s are ignoring their own Consultative Examiners’ opinions and denying benefits to claimant’s with severe deformities due to Cerebral Palsy, then who is disabled?

Cerebral palsy word cloud concept


This one case illustrates what we, as attorneys, see and fight every day.  Many ALJ’s have taken Social Security’s edict to deny more cases to heart. Some ALJ’s are ignoring medical evidence and denying cases that they should award under the law. This case shows how difficult it is for even the most impaired individuals to win disability benefits when they cannot work.

You will be happy to know that we did not give up the fight in this case. Cannon Disability did appeal the case and the Appeals Council gave us a remand. Because the case was sent back for a new hearing, the claimant had another chance to win his case. This time, the case was heard by another ALJ. The second ALJ did grant the case. The second ALJ read the medical records and found the first ALJ was wrong. The ALJ did overturn the old decision and gave the full disability benefit for Cerebral Palsy.


This example shows why you should not give up. Do not give up fighting for your disability benefits just because the government denies your case. If you have a physical or medical condition and you also have medical records documenting your impairments, then you should be able to win your SSD case. Hiring an attorney with experience, to present those records to the judge is a good choice. If you have a disability attorney and also all of your medical records, then there is a high chance that you will be able to prove disability in your case.

If the SSA has denied your claim, contact our office at Cannon Disability Law. Or, call us at 1-801-322-2121.  We have the experience and the determination to fight for the disability benefits that you deserve. Contact Cannon Disability Law if you need to apply for benefits, file an SSD or SSI appeal. Most importantly, contact us if need an experienced attorney to represent you in court.


There are many law firms that claim they practice Social Security disability law. However, most of those firms do other types of cases. For example, some firms practice personal injury or Worker’s Compensation law. We don’t do that. Our firm only takes Social Security disability cases. We don’t practice any other kind of law.

Our firm believes it is important to focus on Social Security cases, because that is our specialty. It is hard to trust your future to a lawyer. We understand. That is why we include information about our attorneys on our website.

Dianna Cannon has practiced disability law for the past 30 years. She has written a book about Social Security law. Brett Bunkall and Andria Summers have over 30 years of combined legal experience. They work hard for our clients every day. We focus exclusively on disability law. Find out more about the representatives at Cannon Disability on About Us page. We have helped many individuals with cerebral palsy.


Our law office will help you file your application for Social Security Disability benefits. We can help you file your application on the Social Security’s website. Our attorneys practice disability law in Utah and Nevada. We also practice in Idaho, California, and Colorado.

Additionally, we work with you over the course of the appeal process. It is a team effort. At each level of appeal, we will collect your medical records. Medical records from your treating sources prove your disability for cerebral palsy. When you have strong support from your treating physician, you have a better chance of winning your disability benefits.

We know you need disability benefits to replace your income. Over the past 30 years, we have won over $100 million in ongoing and past-due benefits for our clients. Obtaining Social Security Disability benefits for our clients is the only kind of legal case we do. It is our goal is to put our legal experience to work for you and also make the disability process easier for you. Contact us today for your free consultation about your cerebral palsy case.

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