Because you are disabled.

File for disability benefits.

Appeal your case.

How you presented your initial application was the best you could do at that time given what you knew and were told.

But, if you were not successful, appeal (1) because you are disabled and (2) because you can improve on your presentation.

Wednesday, April 2, 2014

High Blood Pressure, Peripheral Retinopathy, Diabetes Mellitus, Hearing Loss, Obesity and Post-Traumatic Stress Disorder.

The claimant objected to a ruling made by the magistrate judge, that "[i]n the absence of a 100 percent disability finding by the [Veterans Administration], the [Administrative Law Judge] is not required to adopt or even consider the VA’s determination."

The district court found that the ALJ “disregarded the ‘evidence of a disability decision by another governmental . . . agency’ which, pursuant to the Social Security Administration’s regulations, ‘must be considered.’ SSR 06-03p . . .”  In fact, the court noted that the ALJ  nowhere discussed “the VA’s indication that Plaintiff has an eighty (80) percent serviceconnected disability. As a result, the ALJ did not explain whether she accorded this finding any weight, and if not, why not.”

As to a requirement that a VA disability finding be a 100 percent determination, the court stated that SSR 06-03p, “promulgated for the purpose of clarifying how the Social Security Administration considers decisions by other governmental agencies on the issue of disability, contains no such limiting language and the Court, which is not embraced within the executive branch of government, will not read words into a regulation that are simply not there.”

The court concluded that: “Because factual issues remain unsettled, and because the Commissioner's decision did not comply with the Social Security regulations, the case must be remanded for further consideration of the evidence.”

Wilmore v. Commissioner of Social Security, Case No. 12-14532 (D. E.D. Mich., S. Div., Jan. 29, 2014).

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