Hi, I'm Patrick Hartwig, and I'm a Social Security Disability Attorney in Massachusetts. Susan had just turned 50 years old when she was forced to stop working as a gymnastics instructor, a job that she had for over 30 years. Susan had three hip surgeries in her 20s and returned to work each time. She had a neck surgery and a shoulder surgery in her forties and returned to work each time, but the pain kept coming back.

Susan was a single mother raising two kids on her own, and when she was forced to stop working, the income and assets that she had built up would run out quickly. With a mortgage and no other income, she needed help desperately.

I had Susan's story, a lot of injuries through my work, and I had severe rheumatoid arthritis and fibromyalgia. It was getting to the point where work was just so difficult, and my doctors were telling me, "You should really think about disability because your body's not going to be able to handle working much longer." I was getting so frustrated with the process of filing papers, and I got denied on the first try. And then I found Patrick, and it got better from there.

Susan's treatment: When Susan first came to me, we helped her file a new disability application and guided her through the whole process. We encouraged her to keep going to the doctor, and Susan did just that. She aggressively treated all of her symptoms. She did repeated rounds of physical therapy, and she took every medication that the doctor suggested might help. By the time we reached a hearing in front of a Social Security judge, Susan had also undergone over 25 different injections to help with the pain. Unfortunately, nothing helped.

At that point, things were getting tight with money, and I was going through my benefits, and it was all getting a little tight. The college fund was next, and I really didn't want to do that, and that's how far it got. And then, to make matters more scary, we were then assigned to one of the most intimidating Social Security judges in New England. But Susan was ready. We updated all of the medical evidence in her file, and we were able to obtain two separate reports from her doctors about her ongoing limitations.

It was Susan's hearing: Very hard and humbling to say, "I can't work anymore," and he would calm my nerves. I have two children, twins, that I was raising on my own. I had never not worked, and he really calmed my nerves, told me I was a good candidate, and that he would be there for me and help me through the process.

On the day of her hearing, Susan was ready to testify and tell her side of the story. In the end, the Social Security judge realized that this story made sense from beginning to end, and this was clearly someone who would much rather be working. Susan was approved for disability benefits shortly before her mortgage company started foreclosure proceedings.

Conclusion: I definitely would recommend Patrick. He's very much on your side. He walks you through the process, and he really took the pressure off. He told me that I deserved to get it and that me and my kids would be okay, and I really held onto that right to the end. And it proved true that yes, my kids and I are okay now.

Now, I imagine you may have questions that are specific to you, and I can answer your questions. Social Security Disability is all I do. I'm Patrick Hartwig. Thanks for watching. Have a great day.