Federal Judge Awards Woman Six Years of Back Disability Benefits

At 13 years old, Rhode Island resident Maria Borino Provancha had ten-inch metal Harrington rods inserted into her back.  For her entire life, Ms. Provancha has been suffering from back pain and scoliosis.  The rods helped—they straightened her spinal column and slowed the damage being done to her body.  But they also led to other problems.  She has never even been able to sit or stand without experiencing debilitating pain.  But she still persevered as best as she was able.

“I fought my disabilities for years,” Ms. Provancha said.  “I worked and took care of my family, but by 2007, I couldn’t take the pain any longer.”  So she applied for Social Security Disability benefits.

Ms. Provancha, however, had a problem.  At various points in her ordeal—both before and after not working—she was without insurance.  She was therefore unable to seek out certain types of treatment.  And this led to some unfair conclusions: those deciding her case felt that she was not as disabled as she purported to be.

Her initial application for benefits was denied.  As was her application for reconsideration.  A judge subsequently ruled against her.  And an appeals council denied her as well.  Again and again she was frustrated.  And, statistically, she’s not alone.  In Rhode Island, for example, only 48% of workers’ compensation cases result in benefits.  And, while these numbers are better elsewhere, this is not an unfamiliar result to many.

So Ms. Provancha kept going.

She fought her way all the way up to United States District Judge John J. McConnell—and won.  The Social Security Administration must now pay her six years of back disability benefits (and continue paying in the future, of course).

Sometimes challenging the ‘system’ can be difficult.  But it can also pay off.

“When I received the news of the decision I stood in disbelief and began to cry.  I couldn’t believe I had finally won, after all these years it was finally over.”

For more information on this case, see http://www.prweb.com/releases/2013/3/prweb10584312.htm.