skip to main content

Paul, Weiss is committed to providing impactful pro bono legal assistance to individuals and organizations in need. Our program is all-encompassing, spanning the core issues facing our society.

Pro Bono Client Successfully Appeals Denial of Social Security Disability Benefits

Paul, Weiss secured the reversal and remand of a decision by the Social Security Administration denying social security disability benefits to our pro bono client. Our client, Mr. B, suffers from schizoaffective disorder, post-traumatic stress disorder and depression and is required to spend significant time every week attending court-ordered mental health treatment, rendering him unable to maintain a full-time job. Despite these limitations, the SSA denied Mr. B’s application for disability benefits. In partnership with Legal Aid, we filed a motion for judgment of reversal in the U.S. District Court for the District of Columbia, arguing that Mr. B’s absenteeism prevented him from maintaining employment and that the SSA’s administrative law judge failed to adequately analyze medical evidence in the record. The SSA cross-moved for a judgment of affirmance.

In a 41-page opinion, the court credited our arguments, holding that the administrative law judge “failed to build a logical bridge connecting his decision not to include in the [assessment] a limitation related to excessive absenteeism to the record evidence and failed to give good reasons for discounting [the physician’s] opinion that Plaintiff would be absent from work more than three times per month due in part to his treatment demands.” Accordingly, the court reversed the SSA’s decision, denied the SSA’s motion for affirmance, and remanded Mr. B’s case to the SSA for further administrative proceedings.

The Paul, Weiss team was led by litigation associates Maria Eliot and Robert Klein and supervised by partner Jane O’Brien and counsel Melissa Zappala.

© 2024 Paul, Weiss, Rifkind, Wharton & Garrison LLP

Privacy Policy