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, February 26, 2014

Knee, Shoulder & Back Pain

“The administrative law judge found that plaintiff’s severe impairments consist of chondromalacia of the patella and medial femoral condyle of the right knee, status postarthroscopy of right knee with partial medial meniscectomy, degenerative disc disease at L5-S2, cervical spondylosis with foraminal stenosis, ulnar nerve neuropathy of the right elbow, obesity, depression, and anxiety.” 

The claimant argued that the administrative law judge failed to evaluate the medical opinion of his doctor as is required by Social Security rules.  

“The administrative law judge characterized Dr. Lattavo as plaintiff’s ‘regular doctor’ and discussed Dr. Lattavo’s treatment notes. . . .However, the administrative law judge made no specific mention of Dr. Lattavo’s November 2011 opinion, she did not evaluate Dr. Lattavo’s opinion for controlling weight, nor did she consider the factors required by [case cited]. The administrative law judge’s [residual functional capacity] assessment also does not adequately reflect the limitations articulated by Dr. Lattavo. . . .”

“[T]here is no indication that the administrative law judge in this case even reviewed Dr. Lattavo’s November 2011 opinion. This Court therefore cannot determine if the administrative law judge intended to reject the opinion. . . . Even assuming, arguendo, that the administrative law judge did consider Dr. Lattavo’s opinion, the administrative law judge did not provide reasons ‘sufficiently specific to make clear to any subsequent reviewers’ the reasons for discounting Dr. Lattavo's opinion.”

The court remanded the case for further consideration of the doctor’s opinion.

Appeal an unfavorable decision.

France v. Commissioner Of Social Security, No. C.A. No. 2:13-cv-421 (D. S.D. Ohio, E.Div., Jan. 24, 2014), available at

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