Social Security Widow's Benefits Burden of Proof - Melvin
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Social Security Widow’s Benefits Burden of Proof

by Melvin Cook

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Ms. Finkelstein applied in 1983 for social security widow’s disability benefits based on her deceased husband’s work record. Her claim was denied on the grounds that her severe medical conditions did not meet or equal one of Social Security’s listed impairments. She appealed.

The federal district court held that social security’s regulation that held widows to a higher standard on proof than other disability claimants was invalid and therefore demanded the case for a review of whether Ms. Finkelstein’s medical limitations prevented her from sustaining full-time employment.

Social Security appealed the remand order. The federal circuit court of appeals denied the appeal, holding that the remand order was not a final decision that could be applied. Social Security applies for a writ of certiorari from the U.S. Supreme Court, which granted the request and heard the matter.

The Supreme Court held that the remand was a final order and judgment from which appeal could be taken.

Widow’s disability benefits applicants are no longer held to a higher standard of proof than other disability applicants. Even if their medical conditions do not meet or equal one of Social Security’s listing of impairments, they can still prove their case by showing their conditions are so limiting as to prevent full-time employment.

See Social Security Ruling (SSR) 91-2c.

Contact a Salt Lake City Attorney Committed to Protecting Your Rights

When it comes the family law and social security disability, each client and case is different. It is also important to select an attorney with the experience, skills and professionalism required to address your legal issues. To learn more, contact the Salt Lake City law offices of Melvin A. Cook and schedule an initial consultation to discuss your case.

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