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KellyGram – Here for the People

 

 

Over the past 40+ years, I have genuinely loved my job, and representing three Myrtle Beach clients in Social Security hearings this week reminded me why my work is so fulfilling. The first hearing I attended was on behalf of a client who suffers from the residuals of a stroke. After a lifetime of making a productive living working in a school cafeteria, she can no longer see, speak, or reason adequately enough to perform gainful work. My heart has hurt for this client since the day we met, and fortunately, the Judge agreed and awarded her claim. Sadly, a monthly check and Medicaid will not restore this person’s faculties, but it will provide her with stability she needs to move forward in spite of her circumstances.

Later in the week, I represented a young man who worked for a South Carolina utility company at his Social Security hearing. With only a high school education, my client was doing very well in terms of salary and benefits until he suffered a life-changing head injury. Now, he experiences unpredictable and agonizing seizures and lives with his dad. My client’s father drives 51 miles each way to work, then comes home to care for his son; they sleep in the same room in case a seizure comes on in the night. This young man is not yet 40 years old, and his circumstances are devasting. The silver lining, however small, is that the Judge did the right thing and awarded my client benefits that will help him get the care he needs and stay afloat as he and his father adjust to their new lives.

Finally, I attended a disability hearing for a client who had a career as a mechanic before bipolar disorder and cervical disc disease rendered him unable to work. Initially, he turned to drugs to ease the pain brought on by his physical and mental ailments. He has since successfully undergone rehabilitative treatment and attends NA meetings six days a week; however, he continues to endure debilitating physical pain and mental anguish. Thankfully, the Judge found in favor of my client, and he will now receive much-needed income and, more importantly, access to healthcare.

There’s no real “happy ending” in a disability case, as Social Security benefits do not cure my clients’ ailments. But successfully appealing a benefits denial does change their lives for the better, and I am grateful to have found a career which allows me to help those most in need. I am truly honored to be here for the people of South Carolina.

Sincerely,

 

Mike Kelly

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