Lisa was found disabled as the result of her severe degenerative disc disease of the lumbar and cervical spine with an annular bulge at C5-C6 and cervical radiculopathy; fibromyalgia; chronic fatigue; and chronic pain.

Lisa filed claims for SSI and SSDI on September 17, 2012. These claims were denied November 13, 2012, and upon reconsideration on July 12, 2013. We requested a hearing on July 18, 2013. Lisa appeared at a hearing before an Administrative Law Judge in Seattle, Washington on October 13, 2013. Lisa was represented by John J. Chihak. A vocational expert appeared and testified at the hearing.

Lisa testified, at the hearing, that she worked as a construction worker, dining room manager, barista, cleaner, and home restoration worker until January 28, 2012 when she fell at work, injuring her back. A CT of her spine showed that the fall had cause herniated discs at L4-L5 and L5-S1. She testified credibly to having severe impairments due to generalized fibromyalgia pain and back pain, with pain and numbness in her extremities, as well as chronic fatigue and side effects from medications, all of which significantly limit her ability to function in daily living activities, stand or walk for prolonged periods, or work on a regular basis. Lisa’s friend also testified at the hearing, who credibly supported Lisa’s assertions of disabling limitations including severe generalized pain, fatigue, and problems with ambulating and mobility.

Chihak + Chihak obtained medical evidence from the Skagit Regional Clinic; Cascade Valley Hospital; Arlington Physical Therapy; Premier Orthopedic Group; Seattle Pain Clinic; as well as lay witness statements which all corroborated and affirmed Lisa’s incapacitating mental and physical impairments.

At the hearing, the vocational expert testified that based on the Administrative Law Judges assessment of Lisa’s conditions that rendered her unable to perform more than sedentary work, but that she would also need to alternate positions between sitting and standing every 15 minutes for at least 10 minutes, there would be no jobs in the national economy that Lisa would be able to competitively perform. Accordingly, Lisa’s disability claim was approved.

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