Benefits Paid as Claimant Dies

Here’s a heartbreaking story from Channel 11 in Atlanta, one that underscores the importance of having a lawyer help you with your claim early on. Melissa Kern, who suffered from ALS, spent seven long years pleading with Social Security to get her Social Security Disability Benefits–and for seven long years was summarily turned down.

“I was told no–flat out ignored at every turn–it was kind of heartbreaking,” her husband Chris told 11Alive’s Bill Liss. “It’s been hard with someone who is so obviously disabled for them to deny it. A lot of times, not even to look at any of the medical records and things like that, because of one technicality. To deny it out of hand astonished everybody.”

Most of all, it astonished us. It was all because of a technical glitch. Melissa had not spent enough months in the workplace. Her benefits finally arrived, as she died.

Chris and her attorney insisted that Social Security closely examine medical records and not just time spent in the workplace. But it was no use. They got nothing. They sold their house and moved in with Melissa’s parents. Chris borrowed money to pay for medicines. He still owes the nursing service more than $30,000.
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