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.

Tuesday, March 25, 2014

Mood Disorder with Anger, Alcohol and Marijuana Abuse, Cocaine Abuse in Remission, Back Sprains and Strains and Mild Degenerative Disc Changes of the Lumbar Spine.

The claimant appealed on the grounds that the Administrative Law Judge erred by rejecting the opinion of his treating psychologist, Dr. Ford.

The federal magistrate judge’s opinion noted that the ALJ found that the opinions of Dr. Ford were internally inconsistent and inconsistent with treating notes.  The ALJ indicated that the psychologist had concluded that the claimant was compliant with medication and was stable on medication.

With respect to internal inconsistency, the court found that: “Essentially, the ALJ compared two different areas of functioning and found an inconsistency rather than comparing the same area of functioning in both opinions. Based on this alleged inconsistency, the ALJ appears to have rejected Dr. Ford’s opinion as a whole. The Court finds that the decision’s reasoning fails to satisfy the ‘good reasons’ requirement as it is simply inaccurate.”

The court stated: “If Dr. Ford’s opinions are inconsistent with other portions of his treatment notes, the decision fails to offer specifics.”

As to the claimant’s being stable with medication, the court pointed out that the observation was made, not by Dr. Ford, but by another doctor who was treating the claimant for physical problems.
The court concluded that “a treatment note indicating that Kiefer was ‘stable’ does not constitute a ‘good reason’ to reject the opinion of a treating psychologist regarding the claimant’s functional limitations.” 

The district court magistrate judge stated: “the observation that Kiefer was ‘stable’ is of rather limited utility in the disability context. . . . ‘Stable’ is a medical term that simply means a condition is neither better nor worse.”  (Citations omitted.)

The ALJ decision was remanded.

Kiefer v. Commissioner of Social Security, Case No. 5:13-cv-00679 (D. N.D. Ohio, E. Div., Jan. 8, 2014).

No comments:

Post a Comment

Thank you for your comment. Comments may be edited. Only general interest comments will be posted. Please do not include personally identifiable information about anyone's actual Social Security case in your comments.