Gordon became disabled by marked bilateral temporal lobe atrophy, left greater than right, frontal atrophy of an unknown etiology, left knee osteoarthritis, cognitive disorder not otherwise specified, and major depressive disorder.
On August 22, 2012, he filed a claim for SSDI. Gordon’s claim was denied initially December 14, 2012 again upon review (request for reconsideration) February 10, 2012. He ultimately appeared at the hearing on February 11, 2014. He was represented by John J. Chihak. Besides Gordon, a vocational expert also testified during the hearing.
At the hearing, Gordon testified that the combination of his mental and physical health impairments cause him to be unable to work at his past job as a manager of information technology and college instructor, and prevent him from holding even a simple, routine, repetitive job. He reported difficulty standing, reaching, walking, and climbing stairs. He endorsed problems with memory, understanding, following instructions, and getting along with others. At the hearing, he testified that he was unable to work because of problems with word finding, slow mental processing speed, hand issues, and difficulty with balance; he reported problems with typing, dropping things, and falling. He testified that he walks, at the recommendation of his psychiatrist and doctor, but gets lost sometimes and has to call his wife to come find him.
The medical evidence Chihak + Chihak obtained supported Gordon’s allegations of debilitating limitations secondary to his impairments. Gordon’s providers, included Heidi Iwanski MD, Dr. William A. Burkhart PhD, FCPN, NW Hospital Neurology, UW Medical Center Hall Health, and Carol Stanley PhD.
At the hearing, the Administrative Law Judge asked the vocational expert whether jobs exist in the national economy for an individual with the claimant’s age, education, work experience, and residual functional capacity. The vocational expert testified that given all of these factors there are no jobs in the national economy that the individual could perform. Based on this testimony, the Administrative Law Judge concluded that Gordon was unable to make a successful vocational adjustment to work that exists in significant numbers in the national economy, and a finding of “disabled” was appropriate. Gordon was approved for SSDI.