Hon. Judge _____
ODAR Atlanta Downtown
Suite 500, Marquis I
245 Peachtree Center Ave.
Atlanta, GA 30303
Donald T. Jones
Pre-hearing brief and request for on-the-record decision
Dear Judge _________:
I represent claimant Donald T. Jones with regard to his claim for SSI benefits. Please allow this letter to serve as my pre-hearing brief and request for on-the-record decision.
The claimant is currently 49 years old (date of birth August 7, 1966). He left school after the 9th grade and is illiterate. A Wechsler IQ test in 1973 (when the claimant was 7 years old shows and IQ of 60 (1E/5). The claimant’s 8th grade report card show a “D” average in most subjects (1E/7).
He has no past relevant work within the past 15 years. Prior to that the claimant washed dishes in a diner.
Claimant Jones filed for Title XVI SSI benefits on June 14, 2013. As this case is SSI only, his alleged onset date would also be June 14, 2013.
On June 1, 2013, the claimant presented to the emergency room at West Georgia Hospital in LaGrange, Georgia with an infected left foot (8F/13). The ER doctor noted a history of frostbite and diagnosed a necrotic left foot with gangrene and maggots. The claimant previously had undergone an amputation of his great left toe (2F/44). On June 7, 2013 Dr. Charles Thompson performed a left below the knee amputation of the claimant’s leg (8F/20).
In July, 2014 the claimant was admitted to West Georgia Hospital with a skin rash, wounds on his lower body and trouble breathing (12F/2).
On September 10, 2014 the claimant was again admitted to West Georgia Hospital with left lower extremity stump wound infection and right lower extremity cellulitis (13F/5). An exam of his right foot showed “destructive changes of the right ankle, with swelling and deformity most consistent with the appearance of a Charcot foot.” Skin breakdown of the right ankle was also noted (13F/13). The claimant was also diagnosed with severe protein calorie malnutrition and anemia.
On September 11, 2014 the claimant underwent a surgical debridement by Dr. Vincent Pollian of his left leg amputation stump (13F/15).
On November 21, 2014, Dr. Pollian wrote a “to whom it may concern” letter stating that the claimant “suffers from chronic lymphedema of both legs, tissue breakdown in the remainder of his left leg and gangrene. He is a left below the knee amputee with chronic wound infections and is unable to ambulate without the use of a wheelchair. Because of his chronic wounds and tissue breakdown at the stump of the left below the knee amputation, he is not a good candidate for a prosthetic limb. It is my medical opinion that he is disabled and unable to work.” (15F/1).
The claimant acknowledges and the medical record documents that the claimant is a long term alcoholic (6E and 7E), although the claimant contends that he has been sober for the past several months. Undoubtedly the claimant’s long term use of alcohol, poor hygiene and nutrition habits, and homeless status have all contributed to his overall poor health and to the loss of his left leg.
We would also contend that since the claimant’s loss of his lower left leg is a permanent condition, his long term abuse of alcohol would not be a contributing factor to his disability.
Argument and Request for On-the-Record Decision. The claimant meets Listing 1.05(B) in that his lower leg has been amputated above the tarsal region with stump complications resulting in medical inability to use a prosthetic device or to ambulate effectively.
In the alternative, we contend that the claimant meets Listing 12.05( C) in that he has a measured IQ of 60 and a physical impairment (amputated leg) that creates a significant work related limitation.
Finally, we contend that the claimant’s functional capacity for work has been so eroded by his physical impairments, coupled with his limited intellectual functioning and poor judgment that he would not be reliable in any competitive employment.
Thank you for your consideration.
VERY TRULY YOURS,
GINSBERG LAW OFFICES, P.C.
by: JONATHAN C. GINSBERG