Veteran with PTSD and traumatic brain injury has to take his claim to Federal Court to get his Social Security Disability Benefits.

Kenneth Kaighn, a former marine and army national guardsman, served in Somalia, Iraq and Afghanistan.  Mr. Kaighn moved to Colorado and worked for a while with the U.S. Forest Service after discharge, but his medical issues made it difficult for him to stay on task and caused problems with coworkers.  He filed for Social Security Disability Benefits claiming that he was disabled due to numerous physical and mental problems.  He already had a 100% disability rating from the VA.  The Social Security Administrative Law Judge found he had PTSD, a traumatic brain injury, and other physical problems but still denied his claim for benefits.  The record was full of references from medical sources that the Mr. Kaighn had difficulty with concentration and focus, but the ALJ denied the claim claiming that the veteran’s desire to return to school for retraining showed that his problems were not as severe as claimed.

 

Mr. Kaighn took his case to Federal Court where the Judge found, “That Mr. Kaighn wishes to return to school does not mean he is capable of returning to school.  Even if he were capable, disability accommodations, online classes, and other support mechanisms make further schooling a questionable metric for judging Mr. Kaighn’s ability to do sedentary work.”  The Federal Judge awarded the case and sent it back to the Social Security Administration for payment of benefits to Mr. Kaighn.

 

Yet another Veteran has to fight the Social Security Administration for benefits.  Thankfully, in this case there was a happy ending and he did receive his benefits.

 

This case can be found at:  Kaighn v. Colvin, 13 F. Supp. 3d 1161 (2014) and 210 Soc. Sec. Rep. Serv. 485.

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